Although family law disputes have developed a reputation for being contentious, costly litigation is not the only option for resolving your issues. There are times when alternative forms of dispute resolution could come into play. Mediation is a great option for resolving issues like child custody disputes or divorce cases.
If you are considering mediation in the midst of a separation or a co-parenting conflict, now is a good time to speak with a skilled family law attorney. You have the right to have legal representation during this process, and an Oklahoma City mediation lawyer could help you get the most out of mediation.
Mediation is a process where two parties—such as divorcing spouses or parents in a custody dispute—sit down with a neutral third party to try and resolve their issue. The third party—known as the mediator—is there for one purpose, which is to help the parties reach a consensus.
Mediation can involve all parties meeting at once to hash things out. Alternatively, mediation could involve the mediator going from one party to another conveying settlement offers and working towards an agreement.
A mediator does not hear evidence or make a final decision like a judge would at trial. While mediation is often successful, it can only work when both parties are open to finding common ground. Discussing your unique situation with an Oklahoma City mediation attorney at The Smith Firm could help you gain perspective on your options.
There are pros and cons that come with family law mediation. For many people, the benefits of this approach greatly outweigh the drawbacks. Whether or not mediation is a good idea depends primarily on what you want to get out of the process. An Oklahoma City attorney could to your story and help you weigh the pros and cons of mediation.
Mediation is outside of the court system. Not being part of a formal court proceeding is a major benefit in multiple ways. For starters, mediation gives the parties far more control over the process than divorce litigation could. Having more say in the process could allow both sides to reach a creative solution that might not be possible during traditional litigation.
This process is also typically faster than litigation. It can take years to resolve a divorce lawsuit, while mediation can result in a settlement in the fraction of the time. Because of this, mediation often comes at a much lower financial cost to the participants. Mediation also occurs in private, giving you the opportunity to reach an agreement in your case without the eyes of the public on you.
There are some drawbacks to a mediation-based approach. For example, if the parties fail to reach an agreement, mediation is not binding. This means it is possible to put time and money into the mediation process, only for it not to lead anywhere.
Mediation is also not a realistic solution in some cases. When two individuals are unable to communicate or even open a dialogue without conflict, the chances of success in mediation are low. That said, mediation can lead to surprising results that might not seem possible at first.
Mediation can be a useful tool in a variety of family law cases. If you have questions, an Oklahoma City mediation attorney has the answers you need. Contact The Smith Firm today for a confidential consultation.