Families who want to work together in a cooperative environment and save time and money by not being involved in litigation often opt to use family mediation services in Indiana. These are the basic steps involved in family mediation.
Selection of Mediator
One great advantage of mediation is that the parties get to select their mediator, so they can choose someone with ample experience in resolving family law mediators, such as Dawn Boyd who has practiced family law as an attorney since 1998. This ample experience has allowed her to develop an in-depth understanding of family law so that she can provide information to families about the risks they take by proceeding with litigation.
After the parties select their mediator, they are instructed about what materials to provide to the mediator beforehand so that she can acquaint herself with the case. The mediator then schedules mediation with the parties at a mutually agreeable time, which is often months before any litigated case would be scheduled.
At the beginning of the mediation, the mediator describes her role as a neutral facilitator who guides the parties to make a settlement of their family’s legal issues. She does not impose any decisions on the parties. Instead, she helps identify the underlying interests of the parties and ways that the parties can amicably resolve their case.
During mediation, the mediator may suggest that the parties divide into separate rooms so that the mediator can meet with each party separately. This gives each party the chance to talk about the case in a confidential setting. The parties can often express their frustrations or fears with the mediator who is accustomed to hearing these things and can help provide validation to the parties without these expressions interfering with their ability to amicably resolve their case.
During these sessions, the mediator may go back and forth between each party and share information with the parties that they have permitted her to share.
Once there are some sources of agreement, the mediator may have the parties participate in a joint session in which the parties and mediator brainstorm possible solutions to their issues. The parties may be encouraged to provide suggestions and not reject any of them outright. Then, the parties and mediator can go through each suggestion and see if it can provide a partial solution.
Once the parties have hammered out all the details of their agreement, the mediator will type up the agreement with the specific terms that the parties agreed upon. Each party signs the agreement. The parties can then submit the agreement to the court as a negotiated settlement to be incorporated into the court order.