Mediation as a means to resolve a legal dispute can be a great solution for many family law cases. Particularly during the global pandemic we’re currently facing, mediation can allow for parties to participate virtually and negotiate a settlement agreement while practicing social distancing. Understanding the process of mediation and knowing what to expect may help you know whether mediation is the route you’d like to take in your legal matter.
To understand the process of mediation and how it may work for you, below is a simple outline of what you can expect in a typical mediation session:
- Mediation typically begins with introductory remarks made by the mediator. They will introduce themselves to the parties, establish ground rules, and set expectations.
- The parties and their respective attorneys are then usually separated into caucuses. The mediator will begin going back and forth between the parties to at first gain a better understanding of the issues in dispute and each party’s position on the same, then to begin the negotiations in earnest and work towards a settlement or resolution of the matter.
- Mediation typically takes longer than expected, but the duration of the mediation really depends on each party’s willingness to participate and negotiate in good faith toward settlement, including reaching possible compromises on some or all of the disputed issues. If one party comes into mediation with the mindset that “it’s my way or the highway”, it may be a very short and unproductive mediation.
- When the parties have reached an agreement or resolution of the disputed issues in their case, the mediator may proceed in one of two ways:
- The mediator can draw up the Settlement Agreement for the parties’ approval and signature before the end of the mediation session.
- If qualified as a judge pro tem, the mediator can put the parties under oath and the agreement along with the parties’ agreement to the same “on the record”, either through an audio and/or video recording, and the final documents outlining the Settlement Agreement will be drawn up at a later date.
Although the outcome of mediation will look different for every case, the process remains the same. Understanding the merits of mediation may provide just the solution you need for resolving your legal dispute.
To learn more about how mediation could be effective in your case, contact the attorneys at OWENS & PERKINS by clicking here or by calling our office at 480.994.8824 to schedule your FREE 30-minute consultation. We remain fully operational while practicing appropriate social distancing and cleaning regimes.