If you have a domestic dispute, many clients choose mediation because it is less expensive and less adversarial than a traditional, litigated dispute. In family law matters, mediation has been shown to have more positive outcomes for the children of divorce. Divorce mediation helps you and your spouse make these important decisions together. Mediation is oriented toward problem-solving, rather than finding fault. Our attorneys’ roles as mediators is to help you identify and address your important interests and concerns.
What are the advantages of mediation?
By utilizing mediation, our clients are able to avoid court. Mediation is:
- Flexible—mediation can address and entire dispute or just one issue.
- Private—mediation is conducted in the privacy of a conference room and maintains the client’s dignity and privacy.
- Economical—utilizing mediation, clients are able to speak directly with each other, with the assistance of a mediator. Parties can reach settlement outside of the court.
- Neutral—a mediator is an unbiased professional who assists a couple in reaching an agreement which is mutually agreeable.
- Self-Directed—Mediation allows a couple to create unique solutions instead of allowing a judge to make decisions for the family.
- Custom-Tailored—Mediation allows clients to take into account their family values, needs, and goals.
Mediation with Wobber Law Group
If you are considering a divorce, a legal separation, or have child custody or property disputes, the firm offers a relaxed, informal atmosphere allowing durable settlements which can be obtained more quickly and which are less costly than traditional litigation. We provide mediation services for individuals in new cases and by lawyer referral when the matter is filed with the court but cannot be resolved between the parties.
A mediator is not an advocate for either party. Instead, the mediator listens, helps guide the process, and assists the parties to stay focused on the issues. Often, we work with coaches and child specialists, who help the parties work through emotional and child access issues. In this way, both parties can come to the mediation table to discuss their issues in a respectful peaceful manner in order to resolve their disputes cost-effectively. Our goal is for you to reach a reasonable and fair resolution with your spouse or partner, one that meets your needs, and the needs of your family. Mediation is a voluntary process, and both parties must be willing to enter into mediation.
Attorney Kathleen Wobber has more than 20 years experience in assisting families to resolve their disputes respectfully. Here is what you can expect in a mediation:
Once you and your partner have decided to mediate, you will be provided with a questionnaire, which will assist Kathleen in narrowing the issues to be mediated. Kathleen will review the information in advance of your initial appointment, which saves you time and money during mediation.
During the first session, Kathleen will explain the mediation process in detail and discuss your goals and expectations. If you have additional questions that need to be addressed independently, she will set a time to discuss with you one on one. All mediation sessions are governed by an agenda, which keeps the parties on track and alerts the parties of issues before they enter a mediation session.
Setting the Ground Rules
Although this is not an official court proceeding, mediation does include several legally enforceable ground rules, including the confidential nature of the meetings, full disclosure of all financial information, and the right to consult with your own attorney during the mediation process.
Reaching an Agreement
After the initial appointment, you will continue to meet with Kathleen on a periodic basis until a final agreement is reached. You can expect that you will have homework to accomplish, which will assist you in resolving factual disputes and in considering your disputes. Depending on how you interact and communicate, this could take place in the same room or separate rooms. Common issues discussed in mediation include child custody, parenting time (visitation), child support, asset and debt division, and spousal support. The parties reach “mini-agreements” as we go along, helping to reduce the number of issues until all issues have been addressed.
Kathleen’s role is to present the legal information to both parties when requested, so that they may make informed, educated decisions. As a neutral party, she will not offer legal advice to one party, she will not make any decisions for you and she will not pressure you to agree with any proposal. She will assist you in reviewing your various options so that you may make sound decisions about your own future.
The Final Agreement
Once an agreement is reached, Kathleen will draft a separation agreement. This agreement sets forth the rights and duties of the parties and puts the parties in a position so that they may move forward with their lives, even if they are not ready for a final divorce. Prior to signing the agreement, both parties retain the right to take the agreement to an attorney for a final review.
The firm offers a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss process option and whether mediation is right for your family. Feel free to contact Wobber Law Group if you have any questions about the mediation process.
Contact Wobber Law Group LLC
If you would like to speak to or schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, please provide your contact information below or call us at (410) 832-1800.