What is Family Law Mediation and Do I Need To Attend a Court Ordered Mediation?
A mediation is simply an informal setting where both parties sit together with a third neutral party to discuss their issues in hopes of coming to a mutually agreeable solution or conclusion on their issues. Although mediation is an informal process, it is still confidential, and what is discussed in mediation cannot be used against you in court. Additionally, the mediator cannot use what was discussed in mediation to testify against you in court either.
Mediation is a good tool to avoid costly and lengthy litigation. It also is an opportunity for the parties to have more control of the outcome of their issues, as opposed to having a judge rule on the final resolution of their case. Keep in mind that just because a mediation is court-ordered, it does not mean that you are obligated to come to an agreement. You simply must attend the mediation in good faith in an attempt to try to resolve your issues. However, again, you are not obligated to come to an agreement.
Mediations usually end up being as productive and worthwhile as the parties want it to be. Sometimes people agree on certain issues and leave others for the court to decide. Sometimes a mediation is really successful and both parties come to an agreement on all the issues. In other cases, it’s just a mediation to come to an agreement as to the custody and visitation schedules of the children involved.
In any case, refusing to attend a court-ordered mediation is not a good idea, as it can result in a contempt of court order, which can lead to monetary sanctions and sometimes even to some jail time.
You don’t need to have an attorney attend the mediation with you, but I believe that it’s a good idea for you to discuss your case with an attorney before you go to mediation so that you are not unprepared, so you don’t feel pressure to come to an agreement, and so you are aware of the rights that you might have. It’s best for you to discuss the situation with your attorney first so that if you attend mediation alone, you’re more prepared and know what to expect and what you’re willing to accept and what you’re willing to be flexible on.
Just know that mediation is a good tool to avoid costly and lengthy litigation, and it gives you more control of the outcome of your situation. So please take it seriously and go to it with an open mind, knowing that, if used effectively, it is a beneficial tool for you.
Contact our office today to discuss your mediation, divorce, or other family law issue with an experienced Family Law Attorney so that you can be most prepared for your mediation. Contact us at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a phone or in-person meeting via our online consultation scheduler.
For more information on this and other Family Law topics and frequently asked questions, check out our Family Law blog, podcast, or Family Law playlist on Youtube.