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"Competent, Caring and Responsive"

Knowing What To Expect in Mediation for Divorce

divorce and child custody mediationEven when there are only a few issues to discuss in your divorce mediation, the process can be lengthy and complex. Knowing what you can expect and how you should prepare can be helpful in reducing your anxiety about your upcoming family law mediation.

In some states, mediation happens with parties in separate rooms. In Idaho, most divorce and child custody mediation proceedings have both parties in the same room with their attorneys. Before the agreement is submitted to the court, it is typically reviewed by the attorneys. For this reason, retaining legal counsel that you are confident in and comfortable with can go a long way. Mediation is a different atmosphere than litigation, but you may still feel more at ease with an experienced attorney at your side.

 You should be prepared to share information with the other party and his or her attorney. This is so that the mediation can move forward as effectively as possible and so that you can work together towards reaching a settlement. Although mediation is an informal process, you should be prepared with any documentation in advance so that you can make the most of the meetings. Mediation sessions typically allow for your family law issue to be resolved much more quickly than litigation, but since you also play a bigger role in mediation, you need to be prepared to provide documentation and discuss issues each time you enter a session.

 Anything said during the mediation process is confidential unless it leads to a written settlement. This atmosphere tends to make many people feel more comfortable. You should be open and willing to suggesting different ideas or settlement offers without fear of being persecuted for them. Those offers remain confidential with the ultimate goal being a constructive conversation that leads everyone involved to a mutual settlement.

 Compromise is a critical factor in mediation. You and the other party don’t have to be involved in a stalemate to benefit from mediation, but you should be willing to discuss options and make some sacrifices in the name of resolving the issue. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you could end up in litigation anyways, which just takes more time and money from you. Mediation is most appropriate for situations where the parties are willing to talk options over and make compromises to get to a final settlement agreement.

David A. Johnson has been providing quality legal services in East Idaho. As both a private attorney and as a former Bonneville County Prosecuting Attorney, Mr. Johnson has substantial courtroom experience. Mr. Johnson has handled cases all over the State of Idaho. His primary areas of practice are in Bonneville, Bingham, Butte, Jefferson, Madison, Fremont Bannock and Jefferson Counties. In addition, to Idaho Falls, we serve residences in the Blackfoot, Shelley, Firth, Rigby, Rexburg, St. Anthony, Ashton, Ammon, Driggs and Victor, Idaho. [Read more..]