DIVORCE - MEDIATION
Mediation is an option for settling family law disputes in a divorce such as equitable distribution, child
support or custody. The mediator facilitates the discussion and resolution of all
issues of the divorce. Instead of taking the part of one side, the mediator serves
as a neutral party that addresses issues and guides a couple in making decisions.
In this informal and flexible setting, couples make the decisions that affect their
futures and their children's futures themselves, instead of having a judge impart
the decision. The mediator does not have the power to establish terms of the settlement
or force either party into agreement. Once an agreement is reached, the mediator can
draw up the agreement that both parties sign and become bound to.
Mediation is far less contentious than litigated divorce. If litigation is necessary,
both parties must find their own representation and the mediator withdraws. Mediation
provides a cost-effective legal process, speedy resolution and a team approach allowing
both parties to reach satisfying resolution.
Arbitration allows both parties to reach decisions about individual topics in divorce
such as child custody and division of property. This allows each party to avoid months
of waiting for court hearings and appeals, saving time and money. In binding arbitration,
the arbitrator acts as judge, rather than as a mediator in mediation. Both parties
wave their right for judicial review and work with the arbitrator who hears the case
like a judge and renders a decision. The arbitrator can make decisions and enter
the final order.