Mediation is a problem-solving process in which two parties in conflict work together with the help of a neutral third party called a mediator. The mediator helps the parties in conflict discuss their differences and find their own solutions, but does not make decisions for them.
You and the other party do not have to get along to use mediation. A mediator can work with the couple and their lawyers or with the couple on their own, or with couples who are not represented by lawyers at all.
Thilges & Bernhardt, Attorneys at Law, LLC we don't just work with mediators: one of our attorney (Jacquelyn Bernhardt) is court-approved mediators themselves and mediate cases in both Kansas and Missouri, and can facilitate discussion of all matters involved in a divorce, whether it involves property division, support, custody or any other matter. Even divorces involving high net worth and complex assets can benefit from mediation.
As mediators who are also lawyers, we are able to help you with financial issues such as property division as well as child-related matters. We also have an accurate view of how courts are likely to rule on issues if mediation doesn't work. Our attorney-mediators can also draft all the necessary legal documents for you. This ranges from the initial documents to start the case to the final Decree of Divorce or Judgment of Paternity at the end of the case.
Nurturing Common Ground
The advantages of mediation are many, including:
- Control: When you litigate, you hand over the ultimate decision-making power to a stranger (the judge). A mediator cannot make decisions for you. He or she can only help you come up with your own resolutions, which are usually much easier to live with than decisions that are imposed on you by somebody else.
- Unique solutions: In mediation, you have more options for resolving your case. You are free to come up with solutions that fit your unique needs.
- Efficiency and cost-effectiveness: A mediation is a much quicker process, costs a great deal less than litigation and can be scheduled on your own timeline. Litigation leaves you at the mercy of the court docket, and can become expensive the longer it lasts.
- Cooperation: The point of a mediation is not for you to live happily ever after, but most of our clients who are parents do have to stay in touch beyond when their youngest child turns 18. Mediation helps you to see what you have in common, and helps you achieve a more amicable and collaborative divorce process. It may be easier to sit together at your children's weddings years from now without a bitter court dispute still causing problems between you.