Mediation-What is it and how can it help me?

Sandia Family Law prides itself in its mediation techniques and capabilities. Mediation can take place through a variety of mechanisms. First, you and your spouse may believe you have resolved all of your issues and only want an experienced family law attorney to review the documents, make revisions if necessary or get the paperwork drafted and filed with the court. I would call this an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce, as described above is a divorce whereby you and your spouse have agreed on every aspect of your divorce. Sandia Family Law could review the documents, or review your agreement and then draft the documents to ensure that every aspect of your divorce is properly addressed.

On the other hand, you and your spouse may be close to agreement and simply need a meeting with an attorney to help mediate the final issues. We could help advise you on what a judge may do in helping you mediate the final issues of your divorce or custody arrangement. Often both parties will come in and the attorneys at Sandia Family Law mediate the entire divorce for you, including the custody arrangements, spousal support, property distribution and child support. The advantages are that the agreement you reach is your own, not one put upon you by a judge unconcerned with your issues and your needs. As mediator, the attorney would not represent either one of you. Does it work? I don’t think I have ever had a couple come to me seeking mediation where we were not able to reach an agreement.

Finally, it may be that you and your partner agree on nothing and you may think mediation could not work in your case because of x—my spouse is too pushy, too controlling, too manipulative, too insistent on his or her own way. While these types of issues certainly may complicate a mediation and the balance of power, it should not provide a reason to forego any attempt at mediation. Litigation, while it may provide a means to equalize the power imbalance, brings with it a host of other problems as delineated below. Family law is best handled outside the circus arena of court and mediation is your best option. Additionally in cases of greater imbalances of power, simply add two attorneys, one representing each party in your mediation model.

I think the best benefit to mediation is that the whole matter can be completely resolved in a matter of days, rather than months, it provides the family that sense of peace so needed to help the individual family members move on. A lingering divorce helps no one and certainly impedes the well-being of both the parties as well as any minor children involved. More often than not, my highly litigated cases (which are very few) all involve children who require therapy during and subsequent to the divorce. The children in family law cases without litigation generally do not require therapy. If that is not reason enough to forego the court system, I don’t know what is.

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