Mediation Services

James Fisher is available to take your case to mediation regarding family law matters. Mediation provides an opportunity to achieve a WIN - WIN - WIN result whereby the minor children and the parents win the benefit of a reasonable settlement whereby the reasonable needs of the minor children and the parents are protected. Settlements are usually much less expensive and much less emotionally stressful than trials.

For clients who are embroiled in a legal battle, mediation is the best way to resolve the dispute. The reasons for this are many, but the most important reasons are that in mediation, they have a chance to:

• End a long cost prohibitive process;
• Bring to a close the risk, uncertainty, fear, confusion and speculation that typically comes with a legal conflict;
• Come to a fair and reasonable agreement; and
• Especially in family law mediations, encourage better communication, harmony and healing.

Attorneys can make a difference in the success or failure of the mediation.

Mediation is faster and less costly than litigation.

For instance, in divorce cases, clients need to understand the importance of fostering better relationships and communication between the parties when children are involved; children love both parents and do not want to choose one parent over the other or to even be faced with that possibility. They need to be advised that numerous studies confirm children of divorce adjust in a healthy manner when there is little or no fighting between the parents.

The best legacy divorcing parents can leave their children is to be civil to each other and to communicate respectfully with each other during their divorce. When parties work together, they may undergo a transformation during mediation when given a non- adversarial, safe and confidential setting in which to communicate. Most people do not want to fight and do not want to spend money unnecessarily. The mediation process allows parties to work through emotional barriers and frustrations, move on, and begin the healing process.

Mediation gives disputing parties an opportunity to change things in a constructive way. When you have any mediation which involves relationships that are expected to continue after the dispute is ended, this transformation matters and can occur. Litigation promotes antagonism; mediation promotes cooperation between the parties.

Mediation that results in a settlement avoids the risk of asking a third party to make decisions about money, property and children. No attorney will or should ever guarantee their clients will prevail on any position and in fact, it is unethical to do so. All trial attorneys have won cases they thought they were going to lose and lost cases they thought they were going to win. This seems obvious to attorneys, but this is not obvious to clients.

Clients may not be aware that:

• If they go to trial, the Judge may not hear everything he/she wants the Judge to hear because of the Rules of Evidence or the Judge’s patience and available time is limited.
• Just because the Judge orders a person to do something, doesn't mean it is going to happen (thus the high number of contempt petitions filed).

Mediation is the client’s opportunity to retain control over how their case gets resolved. In divorce cases, it will be an especially important opportunity to make their own decisions about how their money and property is divided and to make their own decisions about what will happen to their children. Ask them if under any other scenario, they would even consider allowing some unknown, unrelated third party to make decisions about their children. The answer will probably be "no". When you think about allowing someone else to make those decisions it is, quite frankly, very risky.

Mediation may be the last, best chance to end an expensive, hostile battle and bring a peaceful settlement. Clients should go to mediation as soon as possible, once the client is prepared by their hard work in gathering facts and records, with the advice of their attorney, with important facts about the value of all assets, balances on all debts, monthly expenses, income of the parties, papers to prove all the above financial facts, and the client goes to mediation with all necessary information and documents to resolve the issues at hand. A client also needs to be advised by their attorney how to communicate and negotiate at the mediation. The sooner you get to mediation, the less entrenched the parties are in their respective positions. When in mediation, focus on the future and set the tone for success of your mediation by being reasonable and communicating well. Posturing by the attorneys, is discouraged and should be kept at a low level. Posturing is counterproductive to mediation and belongs in the courtroom not in the mediation room.

Mediation is a way to resolve issues with fairness, dignity, respect, compassion and understanding while saving money.

Please call for your free (15 minute) initial phone consultation. 901-550-7638