Domestic relations mediation works just like mediation for general civil cases. In domestic matters, however, mediation is arguably even more important and effective, especially in cases where there are children involved. In general civil cases, the parties may not have a relationship that must continue after the conflict is resolved. In domestic relations cases where the parties are co-parents with shared children, their relationship must continue. It is obviously in the best interest of everyone involved, most of all the children, that the parties preserve a relationship. Without mediation, many couples going through divorce are left to decide, and often dispute over, the result of their case, often with the help of their respective attorneys. It is each attorney’s responsibility to get the best result for his or her client, many times at the expense of the relationship between the divorcing couple.
A court may also refer domestic relations matters to mediation. If referred by the court, the mediation becomes mandatory, but an agreement between the parties does not. Any agreement reached by the parties through mediation is always voluntary. The court may refer parties to mediation by agreement between the parties, by granting a motion to refer the case to mediation by one of the parties, or at the court’s own will.
The parties can also voluntarily mediate any issues at any point during the process, or even before the lawsuit is filed.
Domestic relations issues that are often mediated are:
- Parenting time
- Property division
- Debt division
- Spousal support
However, the parties are not limited to mediating only those issues. Any disagreement between the parties can generally be effectively mediated.
Mediation may also be effective in domestic situations were abuse is or may be present. Some domestic relations mediators go through a specific training protocol for this, and are equipped to handle these delicate situations.
If you are interested in, or have any questions about, domestic relations mediation, please call Rebecca at 517-206-0364 for a free phone consultation.