Mediation is a consensual process of alternative dispute resolution in which parties meet with a neutral, third-party professional who facilitates a discussion regarding the issues in dispute. The goal of mediation is to help parties avoid the unnecessary stress and time, as well as the exceedingly high cost of litigation.
Family law mediation, in particular, is an important process because family dynamics often endure even after the case is over. Parties who take a scorched-earth tactic or insist on going to court at all costs are often unhappy with both the immediate results of the litigation and the long-term impact on their family.
Mediation allows parties the opportunity to avoid much of that stress, vitriol and contention by focusing on the needs of the parties as opposed to the remedies offered by a Judge. Parties can meet together or separately, depending upon their comfort level, in an informal atmosphere conducive to settlement.
Mediation is required in every family law case because the courts have found that the vast majority of parties can settle their difference if given a sufficient opportunity, and the necessary tools, to do so.
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