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Use of the Referral List

» Choosing a Family Mediator

» Is a Mediator Appropriate

» Mediators are not Permitted to Provide Legal Advice

» Mediation where Litigation Has Already Commenced

» Mediation Relies on Full Disclosure

» Mediation is Confidential

» Mediation is Totally Voluntary


Choosing A Family Mediator

In choosing a family Mediator, the background, and experience of a mediator, the geographical location, the mediator’s hourly rate, and the areas of family mediation, which the mediator practices, are all important considerations. While these are all important factors, the “fit” between mediator and the clients will also promote a successful mediation. The compatibility of styles, values, and personality of the clients and the mediator will be evident in the first mediation session.

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Is a Mediator Appropriate

Clients should be aware of, and discuss with the mediator whether mediation services are appropriate under the circumstances of their situation.  In some cases of extreme unbalance between the potential clients bordering on coerciveness, mediation may not be a practicable method of dispute resolution, which case the parties may wish attain separate attorneys in preparation for future court proceedings.  In cases where a party or the children are in physical danger, a court process might be more appropriate than family mediation.

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Mediators are not Permitted to Give Legal Advice

The use of outside legal representation another issue that can be discussed with your mediator.  Family mediators are permitted to provide legal information, but do not (even if they are mediation lawyers) provide legal advice to their mediation clients. This is why many mediation clients use attorneys throughout the mediation process.  Reviewing attorneys can provide legal advice to their client and evaluate with their clients potential agreements that arise through the mediation services.

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Litigation May Have Commenced

In some cases, family mediation is conducted where litigation has already commenced or on-going negotiation has come to an impasse.  Mediation can help break the impasse, so that the court-based process can come to a resolution by agreement.

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Mediation Relies on Full Disclosure

Family mediation relies on full disclosure and good faith and fair dealing to be successful.  This means that each mediation client provides full financial disclosure.

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Mediation is Confidential

Family mediators are not permitted to reveal any matters discussed in mediation (except under extreme circumstances, such as to prevent the commission of a crime or abuse).

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Family Mediation is Totally Voluntary

Either party (or the mediator) can terminate the mediation at any time.  If an agreement is reached, it can become binding by contract with the help of outside attorneys, and in the case of divorce and child related issues, by having it submitted to a court for approval and a judgment to be rendered based on the agreement.

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