FAMILY LAW MEDIATION Julie R. Colton, Esq. 310 Grant Street 1220 Grant Building Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-281-3007 email@example.com
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.
WHAT IS FAMILY LAW MEDIATION(CONT.) Support Custody Property Division Parenting plans College Education Life Insurance Pet Custody Estate Settlements
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.
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
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
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
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
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
BLIND SPOTS:SEEING MORE THAN YOUR EYE DOES http://www.serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/blindspot1.html
WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE MEDIATION Mediation is: Cost Effective Acknowledges emotions Brings awareness Empowering Move past positions to understanding
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
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
JULIE R. COLTON, ESQ. Voelker & Gricks, LLP 310 Grant Street 1220 Grant Building Pittsburgh, PA 15219 412-281-3007 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vgslaw.us