Separation is expensive. The family income that covered one family in one house must now stretch to cover two families in two houses. Litigation is not only financially costly, it is emotionally fatiguing. Most of my clients wish to minimize the financial and emotional impact of their separation.
The Courts are constrained by the law. There is a determination made - one party wins and one party loses.
Mediation allows clients to keep decision making in their own hands on a without prejudice basis - this means that you are free to explore options and make offers without having them held against you in Court at a later date.
I hope to add value to your mediation.
As a lawyer I am frequently brought agreements to review and provide Independent Legal Advice on. Clients have told me that their mediator has warned them about lawyers padding their pockets and causing conflict just to make money. I review the agreement and give them my independent legal opinion.
"Were you aware you may be entitled to $1,000 in child support a month when you agreed to accept $250? Was there a reason you agreed on a lower amount?"
Often my advice is the first time someone has heard of what the Federal Child Support Guidelines (or many other areas of the law) sets out.
You may be willing to accept $500 for a clunker of a vehicle, but if you find out later it is an antique worth $25,000 you will likely feel ripped off.
I add value as a lawyer by providing guidance as to what the law states. I help you think about the legal issues, and what the results may be short and long term based on your decisions. Parties are then free to negotiate terms that are fair to both. This reduces the likelihood of one party wishing to change the terms of an agreement. It minimizes future conflict if you are a co-parent.
I hope to assist you and your former partner in reaching creative solutions that work for your family, and results that may not be available through the courts.
As a mediator, I cannot provide you with Independent Legal Advice.
If you wish me to arbitrate the matter - act as a private Judge - I am able to do so. We discuss what the procedure for submitting evidence would include, given the issues at hand, prior to a decision being made.