Family Law Mediation Intro

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Learn the basics about family law mediation. Mediation is an alternative to litigation.
This presentation is for informative purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.

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Family Law Mediation Intro

  1. 1. FAMILY LAW MEDIATION Julie R. Colton, Esq. 310 Grant Street 1220 Grant Building Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-281-3007 jcolton@vgslaw.us
  2. 2. WHAT IS FAMILY LAW MEDIATION? A process by which you and your spouse sit down with a neutral third party to identify issues, express individual objectives, develop and consider options and discuss resolution The goals of mediation is to manage conflict while creating recognition and empowerment.
  3. 3. WHAT IS FAMILY LAW MEDIATION(CONT.) Support Custody Property Division Parenting plans College Education Life Insurance Pet Custody Estate Settlements
  4. 4. WHAT IS A MEDIATOR? A mediator is a neutral Third Party who will help facilitate communication between you and your spouse. A family law mediator will be either a trained mental health professional or an attorney. Rule 2.4 Lawyer Serving as Third-Party Neutral (a) A lawyer serves as a third-party neutral when the lawyer assists two or more persons who are not clients of the lawyer to reach a resolution of a dispute or other matter that has arisen between them. Service as a third-party neutral may include service as an arbitrator, a mediator or in such other capacity as will enable the lawyer to assist the parties to resolve the matter. (b) A lawyer serving as a third-party neutral shall inform unrepresented parties that the lawyer is not representing them. When the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that a party does not understand the lawyer’s role in the matter, the lawyer shall explain the difference between the lawyer’s role as a third-party neutral and a lawyer’s role as one who represents a client.
  5. 5. WHAT DOES A MEDIATOR DO? Educate about the law Facilitate communication between the parties Help the parties to “hear” each other Draft a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding Help brainstorm solutions
  6. 6. WHAT A MEDIATOR CANNOT DO Advocate for either party Practice Law Provide Legal Representation Give Legal Advise Draft Court Pleadings File your Divorce paperwork with the Court
  7. 7. HOW DOES MEDIATION WORK? Mediation is based on trust The parties must bring information with them The parties may rely on other professionals to assist with the process Mediator helps parties to get past positions
  8. 8. MEDIATION BASICS Litigation must stop Both parties must disclose all necessary and relevant information Mediation is confidential. The mediator will not testify in court or turnover her notes The mediator will inform of you what the outcome might be through the court process Attorneys are usually not present in family law mediation
  9. 9. MEDIATION AS A TOOLMediation is often utilized in conjunction with other professionals:  Therapists  Life Coaches  Parenting Coaches  Financial Planners  Appraisers The other professionals are important to improve the outcome of mediation
  10. 10. BLIND SPOTS:SEEING MORE THAN YOUR EYE DOES http://www.serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/blindspot1.html
  11. 11. WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE MEDIATION Mediation is:  Cost Effective  Acknowledges emotions  Brings awareness  Empowering  Move past positions to understanding
  12. 12. WHO SHOULD CHOOSE MEDIATION? People should use mediation if they are:  Motivated to Mediate  Self-Responsible  Have a willingness to agree  Have a willingness to disagree
  13. 13. WHO SHOULD NOT MEDIATE Couples with severe power imbalances (i.e. domestic violence) Couples who are not willing to disagree Couples where only one party is willing to mediate
  14. 14. JULIE R. COLTON, ESQ. Voelker & Gricks, LLP 310 Grant Street 1220 Grant Building Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-281-3007 jcolton@vgslaw.us www.vgslaw.us

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