Family Law Mediation
Practicing Attorneys: Renee Read, Jolene Schnieder, Mark Tyckowski
What is mediation?
Mediation is a cooperative process involving the parties(spouses) and a third-party mediator. Mediation allows for parties to be in greater control of the decisions made in their case. Mediation is nonbinding, meaning that through the course of mediation, decisions are only made if the parties voluntarily agree to them. Our attorneys at Remley & Sensenbrenner can advise you when you are considering mediation as well as during mediation proceedings.
The purpose of the mediation is to help the parties by applying communication and dispute resolution skills to define and resolve their own disagreements with the best interest of the child as the paramount consideration. The court may refer parties to mediation if legal custody and/or physical placement is contested.
Further, the parties may receive services from a private mediator to address a variety of issues including but not limited to legal custody and physical placement. Mediation is becoming an increasingly popular way to settle family law disputes in a way that is alternative to the adversarial courtroom.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation is almost always a more cost effective way for parties to resolve conflict, versus going to trial on the issues. Costs of preparation and attendance for trial are generally higher and more time consuming the preparation is for mediation.
Further, mediation is confidential. It allows for parties to have free flowing conversation to express their true desires, without fear that what they are saying can be used against them in court.
Lastly, another benefit for mediation is that the parties are the ones who are in control of the final decision. When issues need to be resolved by the court, parties can never be certain of what the outcome is going to be. Mediation allows for the parties to be open and communicate with one another, to achieve a solution that is mutually beneficial and works for both of them.
What is court-ordered mediation?
In any action affecting the family, including a revision of judgment, in which it appears that legal custody or physical placement will be contested, the parties must undergo mediation of the contested issues. Mediation will also be ordered if problems arise relating to joint legal custody, period of physical placement, or visitation. If the parties are represented by counsel, counsel is usually not involved in court ordered mediation for custody and placement.
The court may waive mediation in a particular case if it finds that attendance at mediation would cause undue hardship or endanger the health/safety of the parties. To make such a determination the court must consider child abuse, interspousal battery or domestic abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, or any other evidence that is relevant to show that a parties health or safety would be endangered by attending mediation.
What is private mediation?
As previously stated, parties may determine that private mediation is an efficient way to resolve a variety of issues that may be contested in the divorce. While court-ordered mediation is generally confined to deal with custody and placement, private mediation may be more encompassing. If the parties have attorneys, attorneys may be present with the parties for private mediation.
Mediation can save you time, money and a great deal of stress. Our attorneys can help advise you with all aspects of mediation. Call our Neenah office at 920-725-2601 or use our online form to make an appointment.