I always begin by discussing with my clients the possibility of mediation. I am a firm believer in the role of mediation in family law as a process where couples can work together with the help of a mediator to resolve issues and create an Agreement that will work for all concerned.
Mediation is a process whereby both you and your partner sit down with a mediator to work through all of the issues arising from your separation. These issues usually include the division of your assets, parenting arrangements if you have children, and possibly monthly payments for either you, your partner or your children.
The mediation process is extremely effective and approximately 80% to 90% of all of the mediations which I have participated in result in settlement of all of the issues. Mediation is effective because it allows you to meet in a professional but non-confrontational setting and to explain your needs and concerns directly to each other without placing two lawyers in the middle of your discussions.
If you are able to reach agreement through mediation it is an agreement that is acceptable to both you and your partner rather than a solution that is imposed by the court. It is more likely that the agreement will be complied with in the future because it is an agreement which the two of you have created. In some cases, mediation is not an option. If this is the case, negotiation or collaborative law are other viable options for resolution of the issue.