What are Mediation, Settlement and Concordance?
Mediation is a process
in which a neutral person or persons facilitates communication and negotiations
between parties to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement, with
a better understanding of each person's interests, needs, values and options.
We prefer to call it settlement or concordance, a word meaning "a harmonious
state of things in general
an agreement of opinions."
issues can be settled?
Post-divorce mediation is a time-efficient and
cost-effective way to resolve all of the issues that continue to confront families
even years after a divorce has been finalized. These issues may include, but are
not limited to child and/or spousal support, custody, visitation, lifestyle, and
the concerns of blending new step-families.
Does settlement work for everyone?
For settlement to work, parties
simply have to be willing to engage in the process of discussing and negotiating
their issues. In that process they are exposed to ways of learning how to communicate
more effectively. Rather than having lawyers speak for them, parties speak directly
with each other (with a trained mediator's help) about their concerns and goals.
Although parties are welcome to have their lawyer present during mediation sessions,
a lawyer's presence is not necessary. Mediation facilitated by a knowledgeable
and experienced family law attorney results in agreements that have a basis in
legal principals, but are flexible enough to be tailored to individual needs.
long does it take?
At Settlement Works, post-divorce and custody mediations
typically consist of several joint meetings between spouses, or parents, which
last 3-4 hours each. During those meetings, you and your former spouse will discuss
the issues that need to be resolve. A Settlement Works mediator is there to facilitate
the discussion, to assist with the communication, to provide information and suggestions,
and to use specialized training to help you to resolve your differences.
Are the agreements binding?
Once an agreement has been reached by all
parties, we will draft a formal document to be signed by all parties and submitted
to the court to be signed by a judge. This document is a court order - binding
on all parties.
beyond legal resolution?
The greatest benefit of Settlement Works mediation
is the opportunity for finding fair, practical and workable choices for everyone
involved - most particularly, the children. Often, the need for resolution of
emotional conflicts may be of greater importance than settling the legal issues.
For this reason it is often through a multi-dimensional or holistic approach to
resolution that post-divorce families are finally able to achieve a healthy, amicable
state of being. An important benefit of this approach is that people tend to comply
with mediated agreements much better than they do orders arrived at through litigation.