Long & Mathies Law Firm, P.C. provides the full range and scope of Family Law Mediation Services. To find out our availability for half or full day mediation sessions or if you have any questions, please contact us directly.
Mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, is defined as “a method of non-binding dispute resolution involving a neutral third party who tries to help the disputing parties reach a mutually agreeable solution”. (Black’s Law Dictionary 9th ed. 2009)
Local courts are becoming increasingly busy, court calendars fill up quickly, and sometime it can take months to be assigned a court date for the litigation of your issues. Courts, in part because of this reason, are directing people to mediate their family law matters prior to being allowed to have a contested hearing. For instance, Warrick County Local Rule LR87-ADR 1.6-3 requires all domestic relations, dissolution, legal separation or custody issues shall be submitted to mediation before the matter may be tried before the court. Vanderburgh County Local Rule LR82-FL-00 Rule 4.04(B) gives judges and magistrates discretion in requiring mediation in family law matters taking less than one-half (1/2) day of court time and requires all contested hearings comprising over one-half (1/2) day of court time be mediated. In both Warrick and Vanderburgh County, the mediation requirement can only be waived by a Judge or Magistrate.
Advantages of Mediation:
- The clients play an active role in making decisions which impact their future. You know your life and circumstances better than anyone else and you can use this knowledge to help reach a result that fits your circumstances best.
- Mediation promotes communication, cooperation and compromise.
- Mediation is usually cheaper than courtroom litigation.
- Mediation can help narrow the issues by reaching agreements and limiting what is presented in court and could result in substantial litigation expense savings.
- Mediation sessions are confidential and not open to the public unlike most family law court proceedings.
- Successful mediation means your matter is resolved without you and potentially your family members having to testify in court.
- A mediator’s calendar is generally more open than a court’s calendar. This means earlier dates may be available and therefore potentially leading to a faster resolution to your case.
- Individuals are more likely to follow agreements they participated in making.
Like anything else, Mediation also has its disadvantages:
- Mediators are neutral and cannot provide legal advice to the participants.
- Mediation is non-binding if there is no agreement reached. This means that absent an agreement, the parties are still on a path ending in courtroom litigation.
- Mediation does not always end in an agreement.
- Mediation is a cost separate from court costs and individual attorney fees.
- Mediation may not be suitable for your particular issue or issues.
For more information about Mediation, please visit this link to the Indiana Judicial Branch Page on Alternative Dispute Resolution.