Mediation is an alternative to hiring lawyers, going to court, and letting a judge to make intensely personal decisions about your life. 

You and your partner sit down with a neutral third-party (a mediator) and find an agreement about family and property that you are both comfortable with.

Available Mediation Forms: 

Why should you mediate?

Most judges work very hard to find the best solutions for families.  But they are limited by the amount of time they have and the rules they have to follow. This means that they often look at “guidelines” in making their decisions.

However, by using mediation rather than courts, parties are able to be more creative, to spend as much time as they’d like exploring possible solutions, and to create a plan that is unique for their family.

How does mediation work?

Mediation typically occurs in a combination of individual and group meetings.  Individual meetings may occur between the mediator and only one party.  In a group meeting, all parties and any essential third parties, meet together in the same room.  If you are represented by a lawyer, your lawyer will be present at individual and group meetings.

What Should I Do To Prepare for Mediation?

  • 1.  If this is a family matter, complete the exercises on www.uptoparents.org
  • 2.  Create a list of things you want to resolve in mediation.
  • 3.  Create a list of goals or outcomes that you would like to see in mediation, and think through the importance or priority of each of these.
  • 4.  Consolidate all documents or other materials that you will want to refer to in the mediation process and have them ready to bring with you to mediation.
  • 5.  If you are working with a counselor or therapist, discuss the mediation process with them before the mediation session. If you have a pastor or spiritual adviser, you may also want to discuss this process with them so that you will be in best place mentally and emotionally to work through your disagreements.
  • 6.  If you are represented by a lawyer, you should meet with your lawyer before mediation so that he/she will know how best to represent you during the mediation session.

To determine if mediation is right for you, read more about the different stages of mediation and some disclosures about mediation.