We offer mediation services for parties seeking a divorce, modification, or resolution of any other conflict. Such conflicts may involve child custody or parenting time, child support, alimony, relocation of a party out of state, or remarriage or cohabitation of a party. Mediation can be used even after one party has filed for divorce and there is a case pending in court, as the goal of any divorce is for the parties to reach a final settlement of all the issues, and the court strongly encourages resolution by agreement, rather than trial.
Mediation is used where parties have reached a mutual decision to divorce, to modify a divorce or other judgment, or to take some other action. Mediation works best where the parties are open and honest with each other regarding finances and, if parenting is at issue, where they respect each other as parents. Parties in mediation maintain full control of the process, which concludes once an agreement is reached.
The parties generally interview prospective mediators together, then agree on which mediator to hire and share the cost of mediation. The mediator’s role is to serve as a neutral guide through the process of mediation and to draft a comprehensive Separation or Modification Agreement. Once finalized, the signed Agreement may then be filed in court along with a Joint Petition for Divorce or Modification, and other required documents that are either prepared by the mediator, or by the parties with assistance from the mediator. Parties filing a Joint Petition generally represent themselves in court, and there is no need for the mediator to be present. In some instances, a modification agreement may be filed and completed by mail and no court appearance is required.
Because the mediator serves as a “neutral,” the parties in mediation are strongly encouraged, but not required, to also have individual attorneys, either to guide them through the process of mediation and/or to review the draft and final agreements resulting from the mediation. Attorney Minkoff not only serves as a mediator, but also often serves as the legal representative for one party going through the mediation process. Please call or email to learn more about our family law services.