To all of you out there who are looking to get divorced, fight over custody of children, separated, or even just modify a previous court order you have, Mediation is a must have. Mediation is very informal, and often times cheaper solution to your problems. Each party meets with the mediator, with or without an attorney, who will then try to resolve the differences between the parties by offering solutions to them. The biggest and most important part of mediation is both parties willingness to listen to solutions and ability to give up something to gain something else through compromise.
Stubborn parties however, make mediation useless. When neither party is willing to keep an open mind about how to best solve their current situation, and listen to experienced professionals, mediation can become a waste of time. While most times a judge or commissioner will order the parties to attend mediation, or even have a mediation agreement in a current court order, the parties must still be willing participants for it to be effective.
In the past, many courts overlooked the mediation provision in existing orders. However lately, courts are becoming increasingly stringent on mediation as a tool for the parties to use. In fact parties who refuse to participate may actually be sanctioned by the Court, through attorney fees or other penalties if the parties are unwilling to follow mediation orders.
If you have mediation in your current order, remember that mediation is a must have. Bring an experienced attorney with you if you are concerned about your rights. Most attorney’s will attend a mediation with a party to help them through the process. If you don’t, you may find yourself expending more time and possibly more money, only to have a court tell you to attend mediation anyways.
I recommend to my clients to get mediation done as quickly as possible. This is the most cost-effective way in any family law case. Often times, parties are not fully aware of the other parties stance on the issues, and in reality they may be only a little bit apart from each other. Save yourself time and money and speak to an attorney about mediation. There are multiple highly qualified mediators in the Salt Lake Valley.
If you have questions or concerns, it is always better to seek the professional help you may need, then to fall behind because you didn’t dare ask the questions.