Frequent Questions

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."

What 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.

How 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.

What's 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

  © 2006 Settlement Works
All Rights Reserved
Site Design © JRA write/design studio
All Rights Reserved