Mediation

Mediation allows Parties to resolve their disputes on their own with the assistance of a trained mediator.  Mediation can be used to resolve:


Mediation

  • Marital Disputes (for example, Separation, Divorce, Custody, Visitation, Financial Issues and Distribution of Property)

  • Disputes between non married couples (traditional and non-traditional)

  • Family business disputes

  • Partnership disputes

  • Business disputes
  • Litigated disputes (personal injury/property damage)



In mediation the Parties hire a trained mediator, to manage the negotiation process. The mediator is neutral and works with both parties to assist them in coming to resolution of their dispute.


Generally the mediation process at Bass & Abrams, P.C. works as follows:


  1. The Parties have an initial consultation to learn about mediation and the guidelines by which the mediation process will proceed.  During the initial consultation the Parties discuss alternatives to resolving their disputes (i.e. collaboration, mediation, litigation) so that they can make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to mediate their dispute. This consultation not only allows the Parties to determine if mediation is right for them, it also allows the Parties to determine if they are both comfortable working with the mediator.  The consultation also allows the mediator to make an initial determination as to whether the case is appropriate for mediation.


  2. The next step is for the Parties to enter into a written agreement to mediate. This agreement is prepared by the mediator.  The agreement outlines the rules of mediation and the mediator’s fees.


  3. Generally the Parties have a series of meetings with the mediator. Each meeting lasts 1 ½ to 2 hours. During these meetings the Parties discuss the issues in dispute and work toward resolution. Between meetings the Parties gather and share relevant information and exchange this information so that each Party has the information that they need in order to make informed decisions.  During meetings the Parties negotiate with the assistance of the Mediator.  The Mediator assists the Parties in listening to, hearing and exploring each other’s concerns and interests and assists the Parties in reaching resolution.  The Mediator also attempts to make sure that both Parties understand the implications of their decisions.  In mediation the Parties are the decision makers. THE MEDIATOR IS NOT ACTING AS THE LAWYER FOR THE PARTIES TOGETHER OR FOR THE PARTIES INDIVIDUALLY.  Both Parties are encouraged to obtain whatever individual legal advice they might feel they need before concluding the matter. 


  4. When the Parties reach their final decisions on the issues in dispute the mediator memorializes those decisions into a formal legally binding agreement or a memorandum of understanding (which lists the agreed terms).  Each Party then has the choice of having the agreement or memorandum of understanding reviewed by an Attorney before signing it. Once an agreement is signed, it is legally binding on both parties.

If the Parties are divorcing, the Parties retain separate attorneys to assist them with filing the appropriate papers with the Court to obtain a divorce.

For more information on Mediation please contact Bass & Abrams, P.C.