Family Mediation & Arbitration

Family Mediation & Arbitration 

mediation-handshake-resizedMediation is one of many methods parties can use to resolve the conflict that occurs in families, whether they are intact families, families currently going through the divorce process or restructured families who have gone through the divorce.

The Mediator is a neutral third party who helps the parties identify and discuss the issues, make the decisions together about how to resolve the conflict and document what those decisions are.    

The Mediator is there to help the parties talk to each other (and hear each other) in a safe environment.  In the best mediations, not only will the parties resolve the thorny issues (e.g., for those going through the divorce process: parenting plans, division of assets and liabilities and division of income streams), but each party also will feel that she/he has been heard and respected.

If both parties are willing to compromise and be open to solutions that will work for their family, mediation is a better alternative to litigation because the parties control the process and the outcome.

For those parties already engaged in litigation, the parties can ask the court to allow them to attend mediation, with or without their attorneys present, in an effort to resolve their issues without the need for a trial and court decision.  

Mediation, the alternative to litigation, is for everyone, when he/she is ready.  Are you ready?  Ask yourself:

  1. Do I want to resolve the issues?  Ready
  2. Or do I want to fight and crush the other? Not ready.
  3. Am I willing to compromise on what the law says? Ready
  4. Or do I want everything the law says I am entitled to? Not ready.
  5. Do I want a less expensive process? Ready
  6. Or will I spend our last dime before I give it to him/her? Not ready.

If both parties are ready for mediation, it is the best and most cost-effective way to resolve conflict.


Mary Ann Stokes

Cohn, Lifland, Pearlman, Herrmann and Knopf LLP