Mediation Lawyers in Westborough Helping Clients Come to Agreement
Dealing with the stress and complications of custody or divorce can be overwhelming.For some, the thought of handling these incredibly personal concerns in a courtroom can be too much for them to bear. Mediation exists for that reason and for many other appealing reasons. The process is set up in a way that allows for both parties to create better communication through the guidance of a trained and neutral third party. Private conversations are also a part of the mediation process, which can allow for sensitive matters to remain confidential between one of the parties and the mediator.In many situations, mediation can substitute for getting courts involved and help parties to come to a conclusion that ensures all involved have had their needs met and respected without being in a courtroom. Handling some issues in a positive way through mediation can save you time and money moving forward through the divorce process. Any of the agreements made are documented, and paperwork is signed, acknowledging that both parties are in agreement on that topic. This leaves one less item that needs to be checked off their list while going through a divorce.
O’Connor Family Law offers mediation services for both custody and divorce cases, and through many years of experience, we are confident that we can assist you.Contact us at 774-214-2137 to find out more regarding your specific questions.
What Does Mediation Look Like?
Mediation is a negotiation process between you and the other party, with the assistance of a neutral professional trained in facilitating these situations.It can be less formal than court proceedings and offers flexibility. Mediation can be less contentious than court proceedings, as both parties are volunteering to be there to try to reach an agreement.
There are five stages of mediation; read below to learn more about each of them.
Introductions are the first step in mediation and are useful to the mediator in terms of learning more about both of the parties involved.You may be asked to fill out questionnaires or other documents that help further explain what you are working out and why you seem to be at an impasse on this matter.The mediator will introduce themselves and their role in this process, discuss the goals and/or rules involved, and will have each party sign a mediation contract and a confidentiality agreement at this time.They are there to facilitate good communication between the parties, and are highly trained to do so.This is incredibly helpful for couples who can’t seem to discuss matters, let alone agree on important items such as custody or relocation, for example.
Joint discussions are then held while the mediator facilitates, giving each party ample time to discuss their concerns, what they believe is the best solution, and why.The mediator is trained in helping to see and encourage creative solutions the parties may not have yet thought of, as well as to foster communication skills between the parties, so both sides’ concerns are explained and heard.
Private discussions can be requested at any time during the mediation by either party or by the mediator themselves.This allows for things of a highly personal nature to be discussed privately without the other party listening.The mediator may take this opportunity to make suggestions as to how to proceed or create a strategy using other options that the party hasn’t thought about.Anything said during these private sessions remains confidential, as discussed upon signing the confidentiality agreement during the introductions.
A Memorandum of Understanding is drafted when both parties agree to an outcome, and this document is then given to both parties to allow them to seek legal counsel regarding the agreement before moving on to the next step of closure.
Closure is the final step, and at this stage, a Separation Agreement or a Stipulation for Judgement can be drafted, whichever pertains to the proceedings.If an agreement is not made between the parties, they can go back and try continued mediation, or they may at this time decide that involving the courts is best for them.
What if Mediation Doesn’t Work?
If an agreement is not made between the parties, they can go back and try continued mediation.In most cases, more than one session is necessary to resolve the issues and come to an agreed-upon solution.If multiple sessions occur without an agreement, parties will need to continue through to the courts.The mediator can draft paperwork at this time stipulating the points that were agreed upon, making the court proceedings easier to navigate rather than starting from scratch.Generally speaking, even without resolution, after mediation, both parties tend to have a deeper sense of the issues at hand, have gained a different perspective, or have learned about other options to resolve their issues and can take that knowledge into the future with them.Sometimes, a different viewpoint after some of the emotions have settled can provide the answers you have been looking for to move forward.Having a trained and neutral third party involved to help answer some questions and gain a different perspective can be invaluable to both you and your family.
O’Connor Family Law has extensive experience in Mediation, and we are happy to help you work through and untangle both parties’ concerns and move on to the next chapter.Mediation can be an invaluable resource to families that can’t agree on items but need to, in the best interest of their family.Lean on the experience of a professional to help you navigate these sensitive topics and prepare for the next steps.Contact us today at 774-214-2137 to get started.