Mediation is designed to be cooperative and non-confrontational. Mediation is most effective if you and your spouse have an honest disagreement about an important financial or child custody issue and want to resolve it amicably without suffering through a contested legal proceeding. Similarly, you may need to know how a judge is likely to decide a legal issue before you file for divorce or prepare a settlement agreement. In such cases, mediation is a great alternative to traditional litigation.
Mediation is usually accomplished in a single meeting at our office. Depending on your comfort level, the mediation can take place with both parties together in the same conference room or in separate rooms. Usually, both parties help pay for the mediation. All mediations are personally led by family law attorney William (“Bill”) Thode. (Please click the ” About Us” tab for more information about Mr. Thode). All mediation discussions are strictly confidential–nothing either party says at the mediation may be used in court. This encourages open and candid discussion about the contested issue without risk to either party.
In the typical mediation, each party has an opportunity to explain his or her view of the issue and to present any documents or other evidence, if any, that may be relevant to the dispute. After reviewing both parties’ positions, we will advise you of the legal issues and standards relevant to the particular dispute. We will also advise you how a judge would most likely decide your disputed issue. Finally, we will advise you of practical solutions and compromises and help negotiate a final agreement. 
Reaching an agreement about all terms of your divorce of other family law dispute is only the first step of successful mediation. The second step is creating a complete and unambiguous written settlement agreement. A well-drafted settlement agreement helps clarify all terms of the agreement and avoid disputes before they arise. Also, in many cases, a judge must approve your settlement agreement and a professionally-drafted agreement will make it easier for the judge to confirm that your settlement is fair to both parties and to any children.
Mediation can mean the difference between reaching a settlement and going to court. Call us today to learn more about our mediation services.
 Please note: We will not represent either of you as your attorney. Our role will be limited to that of a neutral third party. If we are unable to resolve your differences, you will need to find another attorney to represent you due to ethical issues relating to conflicts of interests.