Mediation represents one form of alternative dispute resolution that allows participants to resolve their dispute outside of court. An impartial third party, known as a mediator, guides the discussion between the opposing parties. The mediator supervises the conversation and ensures that both sides get to state their cases. A mediator will strive to help the parties reach common ground and hopefully come to a settlement that prevents time-consuming and perhaps costly litigation.
Mediation often helps divorcing spouses express their positions in a controlled environment that could foster productive negotiations. The mediation process might support the development of the whole divorce settlement or just parts of it. For example, parents asserting their rights to child custody in Indiana might develop a child custody agreement with the aid of a mediator without giving up the option of litigating other elements of their divorce, such as property division.
Benefits of Mediation
Indiana divorce lawyers have multiple reasons to suggest mediation to their divorce clients. Successful mediation could resolve an issue much more quickly than waiting for a court date. Furthermore, you will have some control over the outcome because you will have a chance to shape the final agreement, if one is reached. By contrast, if the matter went before a family court judge, then you would have to accept a potentially arbitrary decision based on a judge’s view of the case, available facts, and legal guidelines.
During mediation, the mediator could help you set realistic expectations and avoid getting bogged down in issues related to fault or truth. A mediator might suggest ideas that you and the other party have not considered and thereby guide you toward an acceptable compromise. Because the outcome will arise from the input of both parties, mediation often prevents hard feelings compared to a court decision that might not reflect your top priorities.
Indiana Alternative Dispute Resolution Rules
The Indiana Supreme Court has established that mediators must act with impartiality. They are tasked with helping you and an opposing party identify points of agreement and overcome misunderstandings. They must ensure that any agreements that may result only reflect the decisions of the concerned parties.
Additionally, mediators must keep confidential everything spoken within a mediation session. They can only divulge participants’ statements in court under limited circumstances.
The Role of a Lawyer During Mediation
Your lawyer may attend mediation sessions with you and provide advice as you consider options and make decisions. When discussing child custody in Indiana, your lawyer has the ability during mediation to propose solutions unrestrained by the specific legal guidelines used by a family court judge.
A solution proposed within mediation by your lawyer might get you past emotional roadblocks that have made it difficult to discuss the details of a parenting plan with a former partner. Your lawyer might look at both of your work schedules and offer workable ideas about custody and visitation. Sometimes the fact that an idea comes from someone other than the parents helps both parties find it palatable. When you reach an agreement within mediation, your lawyer could then put that agreement in writing for the court.
Know Your Rights During Divorce
Indiana divorce lawyers at Webster & Garino can support you during mediation or litigation. We understand the financial and parental issues vital to you when a marriage ends. We will apply our full attention to promoting your long-term needs as a family. To schedule a Westfield mediation or a complimentary case review with a Westfield divorce attorney, please contact us at (317) 565-1818.
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