Divorce Mediation In Fort Wayne, Indiana in Allen County
In many Fort Wayne divorce cases, couples may take matters to court to seek a resolution. Each side has its own lawyer. With each day, the fighting and back and forth carry on. The attorneys spend more time on the matter, and the stress levels of the parties involved continue to rise. In many scenarios, the animosity also increases. The parties then ultimately end up putting their future, and that of their children, in a judge’s hands.
In many situations, there are other options for people to consider. One option that many choose to consider is mediation. In mediation, the parties attempt to reach an amicable settlement outside of court. While mediation can be a great choice, it is important to remember that mediation cannot force the parties to settle.
What Is Divorce and Family Law Mediation?
In mediation, the divorcing parties sit together with a neutral mediator. Unlike collaborative divorce cases, there is usually no lawyer present with them during the mediation sessions. A mediator tries to facilitate discussions between the parties with the goal of reaching an agreement. In many circumstances, multiple sessions as part of an in-depth process are required for parties to reach an agreement privately outside of court.
If an agreement is able to be reached, the mediator generally puts this agreement in writing. The parties then hire separate legal counsel to file settlement paperwork in court and obtain the approval of a judge. The reality is that mediators are not able to divorce parties. They also cannot present the settlement paperwork in court to get it approved by the judge. A judge also has the discretion to accept or reject a settlement agreement if they find it unconscionable.
There is also voluntary and court-ordered mediation. It is imperative that parties know the difference. In voluntary mediation, the parties decide willingly to go to mediation. They also agree on the mediator they are using. In court-ordered mediation, the court is responsible for choosing the mediator for the parties.
The comprehensive list of issues that can often be addressed in mediation include:
- Marital property and debt division;
- Child custody, visitation, parenting time, and allocation of parental responsibilities;
- Child support and other expenses for the children;
- Spousal support (a/k/a maintenance or alimony);
- Tax-related issues; and
- Payment of attorneys’ fees.
In some situations, the parties may be able to agree on issues that are being disputed in mediation. In other situations, the parties might not be able to enter an agreement. There are also circumstances where some issues are resolved in mediation, but other issues of dispute remain unsettled. In this scenario, the court still has to decide those matters.
If you are considering mediation, contact us today. Stange Law Firm has multiple mediators who can help you, including Kirk Stange, Kelly Davidzuk, Antony Jones, and others.
What is The Difference Between Court-Mediation and Voluntary Mediation in Fort Wayne, IN?
Court mediation means that the divorce or family law case has already been filed in court. Thereafter, the court enters an order which requires the opposing parties to enter mediation. Generally, the court order will select the given mediator.
The mediation order will determine how the costs will be allocated and set the minimum duration of time that the opposing parties will pursue mediation efforts. Certain state courts (like Missouri) can only require mediation for two hours, but other jurisdictions have their own rules.
Voluntary mediation usually occurs before the family law case and/or the divorce has been officially filed. The opposing parties are working towards coming to an agreement, and then are able to hire a mediator of their choice. The opposing parties also typically agree on how the payments will be taken care of and they can also take part in sessions for however long they desire.
With both approaches, the outcomes and successes can vary. All things being equal, however, mediation can lead to more favorable outcomes in the opinion of many when mediation is voluntary and the parties both are interested in taking part in the efforts. When mediation takes place before the litigation is filed, it can also lead to lessened tensions that can assist with furthering the spirit of the settlement.
What Does Divorce Mediation Cost in Fort Wayne, Indiana in Allen County?
The fact that mediation seeks to eliminate prolonged courtroom litigation, it can often be a more cost-effective option than traditional divorce proceedings for many divorcing couples. But this is not always the case in every situation. It is based on how many sessions are required for an agreement to be reached. Some cases can settle quickly. Other parties might need multiple sessions to reach an agreement. In some circumstances, the couple might try mediation and be unable to achieve a mutual agreement.
Because any such agreement that is approved by the court is legally binding, it is still smart to have legal counsel on your side to help ensure that your interests remain protected throughout the process of your matter. It is also imperative to know the pros and cons of entering into any settlement. The truth is that a mediator does not represent either party and cannot offer legal advice, nor can they present a settlement agreement in court.
Schedule An Initial Consultation to Learn More About Alternatives to Traditional Divorce in Fort Wayne, Indiana in Allen County and Nearby
Are you looking to hire a compassionate and caring family law attorney in Fort Wayne to assist you with your divorce mediation? If so, schedule a confidential appointment with one of our attorneys by contacting us online.
Allen County (Fort Wayne), Indiana Office (260-802-4402) | 110 E. Wayne St., Suite 1236, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802 (Opening 3/18/24!)