What Is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process in which two or more people agree to work with a certified mediator to help them resolve their divorce action or any other family law related conflict or conflicts.
What Is A Mediator?
A mediator is a trained professional who assists the parties to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of their divorce or family-related conflict. Mediators are neutral facilitators, unbiased and committed to the parties’ self-determination. Mediators do not rule or make decisions on your conflict; rather, the mediator’s role is to guide the parties toward an agreement.
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Why Should You Mediate?
- Self-determination: Mediation is different than litigation in that you decide the outcome, not a judge.
- Maintaining relationships: Family disputes can often be highly emotional. The process of mediation helps the parties to communicate with one another. Mediation can help to maintain healthy relationships during the divorce process or conflict resolution process, and allows parties to use those communication skills to resolve disputes in the future. Custody and parenting time mediation strives to insulate the children from the adversarial process and to aid in problem-solving and co-parenting arrangements.
- Cost: Mediation will generally cost far less than litigation because you are using one trained professional to guide you through the settlement process, rather than two attorneys.
- Efficiency and speed: The length of the mediation process is determined by the parties, not the courts. Generally, this also means that mediated agreements take far less time than agreements negotiated between two attorneys.
- Confidentiality: Everything that happens in mediation is private and confidential.
How Does The Mediation Process Work?
- Disclosure: In divorce mediation, the parties must disclose all financial information, so that each party is on equal financial footing. Once all assets, debts and income are disclosed, the parties will negotiate an agreement on the division and allocation of all assets, debts and income.
- Custody and parenting time: When custody and parenting time issues are mediated, the parties work toward a mutually agreeable legal custody and residential custodial time-sharing arrangement. If necessary and agreed, a psychologist will be brought into the process, to aid the parties in custody and parenting time issues.
- Attorneys: Attorneys may be consulted during the mediation process for legal advice. Also, attorneys may participate in the mediation process.
- The memorandum of understanding or marital settlement agreement: After all issues are raised, negotiated and then resolved, the mediator will prepare either a memorandum of understanding (MOU) setting forth the parties agreements to be reviewed by outside attorneys, or the parties may authorize Ullmann & Mikulka, Attorneys At Law, to draft your marital settlement agreement and bypass outside attorneys. In divorce matters, the (MOU/MSA) should be reviewed by an attorney. Once the MSA is fully executed, by both parties, then the parties must file for divorce. The finalization of the divorce action, can take place as quickly as 30 days following the full execution of a settlement agreement.
- Uncontested Divorce: For a flat fee, Ullmann & Mikulka, Attorneys At Law, will prepare the necessary divorce papers for an uncontested divorce. This way the mediation clients do not need to pay additional legal fees to outside attorneys to complete the divorce process. The parties will proceed to court pro se (meaning self-represented). Our firm will prepare your judgment of divorce and all necessary paperwork to complete the divorce process. We will explain all steps to finalize the divorce as expeditiously and inexpensive as possible.