Understanding how divorce mediation works is vitally important to calming your fears about the process. If you're trying to decide whether to mediate your divorce, meeting with your lawyer is a good place to start learning about what to expect. Here are some common misconceptions we have encountered about how divorce mediation works:
Mediation Requires Shared Negotiation Space
One of the biggest concerns I hear is that divorcing parties do not want to be in the same room together. The reality is that being in the same room is not a requirement. Often, mediation will be more effective if the parties are in separate rooms, and the mediator goes back and forth. If you believe that will be a more productive way to proceed, then you should communicate that request to your attorney or to the mediator.
Mediators Have Decision-Making Authority
People sometimes have the perception that the mediator will decide the case. Actually, the mediator has no authority to make a decision. He/she is not a judge. The mediator’s function is to assist the parties in making their own decisions and to help them reach an agreement together.
Mediation is Not Confidential
It is important to debunk this misconception. Discussions that occur in a mediation session are confidential. People believe that if they say something in mediation or if they make a proposal, it will be used against them later in court if they do not reach an agreement. This is not true. What is said in mediation cannot be used against you later if the case does not settle.
Mediation Requires Attorneys to be Present
It is not necessary to have counsel with you when you attend mediation. Many mediation sessions occur between the mediators and the parties, without counsel present. There are some mediators who may require the presence of counsel, but many do not.
These are just a few of the most common misconceptions I hear. To calm your fears about divorce mediation and to determine if it could work for you, then schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney who will answer your questions about the mediation process and educate you before undergoing the process. I can help you through divorce mediation or litigation, if needed. Contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz of Offit Kurman at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone (301) 575-0381 to schedule a consultation.
If you are considering divorce and need the assistance of an experienced lawyer to help you work through some of these issues, then please contact Linda Sorg Ostovitz at email@example.com or 301-575-0381.
ABOUT LINDA SORG OSTOVITZ
Linda Sorg Ostovitz is a family law attorney. Her legal experience spans more than 34 years. In this time, she has served as a leader, educator and advocate. Mrs. Ostovitz holds a prestigious fellowship in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Currently, she serves as President for the Business Women’s Network of Howard County, by which she was chosen Woman of Distinction for 2014. Mrs. Ostovitz represents clients in Howard, Anne Arundel, Carroll and Baltimore Counties. Her practice focuses exclusively on divorce litigation and mediation, child custody and access, child support, alimony, business valuation, as well as property and asset distribution. In addition to providing legal representation in court, Mrs. Ostovitz provides mediation services to help families come to a fair and legally-sound conclusion outside of the traditional court proceedings.
ABOUT OFFIT KURMAN
Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 135 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.
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