If you have filed a lawsuit or are thinking of filing one, you can take advantage of our alternative dispute resolution services, such as arbitration and meditation. The court may advise or order you to take part in one or more of these ADR programs after you have filed a lawsuit. In Maryland, there are independent mediators, such as the family law attorneys at our firm, available for hire.
An impartial third party, the mediator, assists the parties in resolving their conflict in a way that is mutually agreeable. Any settlement is documented in a binding agreement. Parties' that have been involved in mediation or arbitration have said that their relationship with the other party was preserved and even improved utilizing our efficient and affordable process.
It is important to understand that a mediation participant cannot be made to accept a decision they do not agree with. The mediator does not make decisions, as contrast to an arbitrator or a court. Instead, the mediator's job is to help the parties resolve their differences.
Court Ordered Meditation
As the name suggests, court-ordered mediation is a procedure that the court orders to be used to settle particular issues in a divorce or other family law proceeding. Couples going through a divorce may be ordered to participate in the mediation process, as well as to do so in good faith. The mediator is chosen by the court. If the parties are able to reach an agreement, the court will review and approve the agreement and there is no need for further litigation. If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, then the court will move forward with litigation.
Before a divorce or family law case is filed in court, a process known as voluntary mediation is used to settle almost any disagreement or issue the couple may have. Both parties choose voluntary mediation because they understand the advantages of settling their issues amicably and without resorting to expensive and drawn-out litigation. The mediator is chosen by the parties and should be impartial and neutral.
Mediation is a private, non-binding process that can be mandated by the court or requested voluntarily. This means that for the agreement to be enforceable, the parties must agree on a specific matter.
What is the Cost of Mediation?
There is a considerable probability that, if you and your husband have decided to pursue a divorce, you will find yourself in mediation at some time to resolve at least some of the issues you cannot agree on. Most of the time, it is in a couple's best interest to pursue voluntary mediation before going to court. If you can settle the issue this way, you can save a considerable amount of money as well as a great deal of emotional anguish because the cost is often a fraction of what you would pay to litigate the case.
The Maryland attorneys at Zide Siegel Tabor & Spigel frequently advocate on behalf of clients as both mediations and arbitrations. If you are interested in a consultation with regard to a mediation or arbitration, contact our office today.