An Arizona attorney offers a guide to the family mediation process
Family disputes, whether personal or legal, can be stressful and overwhelming for the parties involved. If the issue at hand isn’t resolved, it can escalate into a worse situation, which can only complicate matters legally.
This is where a family mediator comes in. When determining if a family needs mediation, a couple generally has two options: take their matter to family court, where the issue will be resolved by a judge, or consult with a mediator in a non-legal setting.
What to expect
A mediator’s role is not to make decisions on your behalf, but rather to ensure that both parties are able to express their thoughts and opinions in a safe and unbiased manner. In the end, the couple must come to an agreement on their own.
During the mediation process, the steps often include:
- Identifying the issues that need to be discussed and resolved
- Exploring solutions that both parties can agree on
- Listening to the other person’s view and reasoning, and try to reach a compromise
- Reaching a mutual outcome that pleases both parties
What not to expect
While family mediators can provide some guidance, they are not there to provide therapy or additional counseling. Unlike a judge in a courtroom setting, a mediator doesn’t act, in any way, as a decision-maker.
Couples that have split up or divorced should not rely on mediators for reconciliations. They are only there to help improve communication among couples facing trouble in their marriage. In addition, they can help improve communication among separated or divorced couples – which is especially necessary when child custody is a factor.
What you can do
If you are facing trouble in your marriage, or have already been separated or divorced, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced family law attorney before any future proceedings. Attorney Brad Crider can guide you through the process and ensure that both parties are heard in a safe and civil manner.
If you have any further questions regarding family proceedings, attorney Crider can help you every step of the way. He represents families in areas of:
- Legal separation
- Child custody
- Child support
- Division of marital property
- Divorce tax disputes