Mediation, a cost-effective, less adversarial way to resolve family legal matters

Divorce and custody mediation

Warmth, understanding, yet professional
Family Mediation, divorce, custody, child support

What Is a Mediator?

A mediator acts as a neutral facilitator and does not represent either party. The job of a mediator is to assist the parties in resolving issues in the least acrimonious and most cost-effective manner.

Mediation is an option that parties may choose in order to avoid any court proceedings. The issues in a divorce or paternity (where parties are not married but have children together) case can be resolved in our office within a reasonable amount of time instead of taking months or years going through the court system. This also greatly reduces the costs involved with the litigation of the case, which is fraught with uncertainty when the parties’ lives are in the hands of a judge.

In a mediation, the parties can choose between resolving issues in the same room or negotiating where the parties are in separate rooms. In such cases the mediator can go (caucus) from room to room, making sure each party is given an uninterrupted time to speak. In each caucus, the parties can discuss anything with the mediator and also request that the mediator share or not share something that they say or are willing to agree to. The mediator may present to the parties the weaknesses and strengths of each party’s position.

The mediator provides information about the legal system, how issues may be viewed by lawyers or judges, and what alternatives there are for solving issues. When necessary, the mediator will refer the parties to third-party experts for services (i. e. an accountant, appraiser, or therapist).

We mediate all issues involving contested or uncontested divorces, including the issues of child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts. In paternity cases, we mediate only the issues of child custody and child support.

During your initial consultation, we will explain the mediation process from the beginning to the conclusion. We will also give you an overview of what documents need to be submitted. If you choose to move forward with representation by our office in a mediation, we will send a retainer agreement to both parties in advance of your first session of the mediation. Call 818-994-4321 to schedule your complimentary consultation.

We welcome referrals from attorneys who believe that their clients may be better served through mediation.

Divorce Mediation

When handled correctly, a divorce does not have to be an emotionally traumatizing event. An experienced mediator is able to help set realistic goals, provide all the necessary information that accompanies the divorce process, and allow the parties to maintain some control over what can sometimes be an overwhelming process. In addition, the parties can evaluate both the short-term changes that are necessary in the divorce process and assess long-term goals that can involve issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts.

The divorce process begins with the filing of initial required court documents and ends with the filing with the court of the final agreement of the parties. When parties are in agreement on some or most of the issues concerning property, custody, and support, they may choose to enter into a settlement agreement in writing. If parties choose to resolve the issues in a divorce through mediation, they are able to have control over their lives rather than having a decision imposed upon them by a court/judge, which they may not like.

We can prepare the initial documents, file them on behalf of both of the parties and work together with the parties to reach a resolution of the issues in their divorce. Once an agreement is reached, it can be prepared by the mediator and incorporated into a Judgment of Dissolution which is filed with the court.

The parties never need to go to court if they are able to resolve their issues through mediation.

Mediation for Paternity Cases

We are able to mediate with the unmarried father and mother regarding the issue of child custody, timeshare/visitation and child support. As with divorce, the mediation process avoids lengthy and costly court processes, and results in a legally binding agreement between the parties.

Similarly to a divorce, the parties never need to go to court if they are able to resolve their issues through mediation.

The family law mediator at Pillemer & Pillemer is Arna M. Pillemer.