Mediation is a process that the parties to a family law case can use to help resolve contested issues in their case. Mediation can be used for a divorce without minor children to help decide property distribution and it can be used in a divorce with minor children to decide property issues along with custody and parenting time. Parties can also attend mediation on a change of parenting time motion or change of custody motion.
Mediation involves the parties (through their attorneys) picking a mediator to help them with their case. The mediator is a neutral person (usually also an attorney) who helps you and the other party work out an agreement. Once a mediator is picked, they will schedule a time for your case to be mediated with them. Prior to this, it is customary that you and the other party will pay the mediator a fee.
Additionally, prior to mediation a summary is usually drafted by your attorney. This summary lists all of the issues in the case, points of law, and states your desired outcome. The mediator reads this prior to the mediation.
Currently many mediations in our area are still being conducted via Zoom. If this is the case for you, you will receive the Zoom link from our office staff prior to your mediation. You will then be able to connect from your own device (just make sure you have a strong internet connection!!). After you login the mediator will go over some beginning statements and outline the process of mediation for you. You will appear with your attorney along with the opposing side and their attorney. The mediator has many tools on Zoom to be able to speak privately with you and your attorney as well as privately with the opposing side. If an agreement is reached it is usually read to the parties in a joint Zoom room. Both parties are given the opportunity to ask questions and the mediator ensures the parties both understand and freely agree to the stated agreement. A recording is then sent to the attorneys to use in preparation of the Judgment or Order.