Mediation and Limited Scope Representation Solutions
What is mediation? Why choose it?
Mediation is a voluntary and effective
means of resolving disputes wherein the parties themselves
choose the outcome in a cooperative, non-adversarial way.
It takes the case out of litigation. The mediator acts
as a neutral facilitator to the decision-making process; she
is there to help the parties identify the issues in their
case, determine and gather needed information, inform the
parties of applicable law, and their rights and
responsibilities. She may also offer approaches or
considerations, but does not impose a decision on the
parties. The parties are free to have outside
consulting attorneys, but many choose not to.
Mediation is typically radically less
expensive than litigation. It usually enables the parties
to much more rapidly conclude their case, and in a way they
choose to, bringing to their result matters which might not
have been important to, or even considered by a Judge or
litigation counsel. In this way, mediation can be a
creative and empowering experience, which the parties can
draw on in the future if the need for modification arises
(typically in the contexts of the parenting plan and
support). There is no Court timetable, and no unnecessary
waiting. Most uncertainty is removed from the
decision-making process, as the parties, not a third person,
are in control of the outcome. All of these things tend to
reduce the stress associated with divorce, for the parties
and their families.
Are we good candidates for
If, despite the difficult circumstances
and decisions you face, you nonetheless enjoy a good level
of trust, there is mutual respect, and both of you have
reasonable communication skills, you will probably do well
in mediation. Sometimes one party is more forceful than
another; in this case, one of the mediator’s roles is to
address this imbalance, and make sure that the other party’s
needs and concerns are heard.
Who does the paperwork?
Typically, Ms. Harrington prepares all
the paperwork, from filing the case through
Will we need to go to Court at all?
No. When a Marital Settlement
Agreement addressing all the issues in your case has been
finalized, it can be incorporated into a Judgment of
Dissolution, and approved by the Court all on the
paperwork. Neither the parties, nor the mediator, need to
appear in Court.
What is the first step?
Ms. Harrington invites each party
individually to have a brief telephone conversation with her
to discuss mediation generally, without getting into the
substantive issues in their case, and so they can get a
sense of her. If the parties then wish to set an initial
meeting, they should identify a few mutually available
times, and contact Ms. Harrington.