Hughes & Hughes is pleased to provide mediation services to clients who are interested in achieving settlement of their family law matters without the expense, delay, and acrimony associated with litigation. Mediation can most easily be understood as facilitated communications toward reaching an agreement.
In mediation, participants themselves, with the mediator’s impartial assistance, resolve their own dispute, seeking fairness and the maximization of benefits. Mediation offers the opportunity to fairly and constructively restructure family relations and finances in relation to such issues as: dissolution, separation, post-judgment modification, custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and property and debt division. Step-family, non-traditional partnerships, prenuptial, cohabitation, parent-child, elder care, and adoption agreements can also be effectively mediated.
In mediation, participants maintain full decision-making power and are encouraged to exercise that power in an informed, fair and constructive way. Mediation is a means for people to maintain control over their lives and, in a dignified and satisfying way, clarify issues and resolve conflicts. Mediation promotes future cooperation, not continued conflict. Participant communication and commitment support future compliance.
A Mediator will assist clients to identify the legal issues between them, provide access to legal information when possible, help parties formulate questions for their independent legal counsel, and help create options for resolving those issues. The Mediator will not give individual legal advice, appear in court on behalf of any mediating party, or predict how a matter would be resolved in court.
Parties who participate in mediation should be aware of a few key concepts.
- First, the participants can leave at any time, for any reason, or no reason.
- Second, the participants have complete decision-making power. Each has a veto over each and every provision of any mediated agreement. Nothing can be imposed on the participants.
- Third, mediation is confidential to the extent the parties desire. Mediation discussions and all materials developed for a mediation are not admissible in any subsequent court or contested proceeding, except for a finalized and signed mediated agreement for enforcement purposes. The Mediator is obligated to describe any exceptions to this general confidentiality of mediation.
- Fourth, the mediation process offers a full opportunity to obtain and incorporate legal and other expert information and advice. Mutually acceptable experts can be retained, but expert advice is never determinative in mediation. The parties always retain decision-making power. Mediators are bound to encourage parties to obtain legal counsel and to have any mediated agreement involving legal issues reviewed by independent counsel, prior to signing.
- Finally, the mediator cannot favor the interests of any one party over another, nor should the mediator favor a particular result in the mediation.
Hughes & Hughes principal, David E. Wald, has received intensive training from the American Institute of Mediation. Mr. Wald’s 37 years of litigation experience, combined with his mediation training and genuine desire to assist parties resolve their disputes, allows him to serve as an intelligent, informed and ideal Mediator. Mediation through Hughes & Hughes can help you to craft your own resolution to your family law matter.
For more information regarding mediation, please click here on the following links (PDFs) - Divorce Mediation Myths: Debunking Divorce Mediation Myth, Mediation FAQ's, Mediation Defined.