What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process wherein a neutral third party meets with the parties to assist them in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution to their case. Laurie Schmitt is a trained mediator and believes strongly in the power of alternative dispute resolution. We strive to resolve your legal issues in a manner which reduces the expense and emotional toll associated with a traditional divorce.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation allows the parties to maintain control of their future. One of the benefits of Mediation is that it allows the parties to reach an agreement that will be long-lasting. Mediation allows the parties to reach their own decisions and control the outcome of their case. If the parties reach an agreement through Mediation, they have ownership of the agreement, will be more satisfied, and most likely will honor the agreement long-term.
Mediation allows the parties to maintain civility. Participating in the mediation process verses attending trial can assist the parties in preserving or improving the relationship and communication between the parties. The parties are able to freely express their concerns to the other party, and work towards a solution that makes sense for their family. This is especially important if there are minor children of the marriage.
Mediation allows the parties to avoid expensive and time consuming litigation. Attending Court is extremely expensive. And it usually takes months to obtain a trial with the Court. Mediation can be done early in the case, allowing the parties to save time and money. Even if parties are unable to reach a complete agreement, often times they are able to reach a partial agreement, thereby limiting the issues at trial.
Mediation is confidential. The parties do not need to be concerned with what information is shared at the Mediation session. Anything discussed in Mediation remains confidential and cannot be used against the party if the case proceeds to trial.
Mediation is not limited in scope. Mediation may be used on virtually any issue between the parties. Many outstanding issue such as custody, parenting time, property division, and spousal support can be successfully mediated. It simply requires that the parties keep an open mind to the process and be willing to listen to the other parties' position.
Reaching an agreement through Mediation is voluntary. Many counties around Michigan actually require the parties to mediate prior to attending trial. But, even if mediation is court ordered, reaching an agreement is still voluntary.
The parties to not waive their right to attend Court. If the parties do not come to an agreement through Mediation, the case still proceeds through the Court process, wherein a Judge will make the final decision regarding their case.
To obtain more information regarding the mediation process, and how it may benefit you, please contact Laurie Schmitt, Attorney at Law.
Laurie Schmitt of Schmitt Law, PLLC is a West Michigan family law attorney specializing in collaborative divorce as well as separation, divorce, child custody and support, paternity, and other family law litigation. She is licensed by Michigan State Bar and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, and has extensive advanced training in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce. Contact Laurie at (616) 608-4634 for a confidential consultation.