What Training Is Needed For Child Access And Property Mediation As A Court-Appointed Mediator?
The mediation training that we’ve completed is what the state requires for a mediator to be a court-appointed mediator. We’ve done two sets of extensive training, one of them being the 40-hour basic mediation training that helps us learn more and hone our skills in mediation in several different areas.
The 40-hour mediation training is not necessarily specific to child access or property but is specific to determining the best way to mediate disputes. After the 40-hour, week-long mediation training, we did another training specific to child access and marital property.
Our second set of training sessions was with a group of very well-known and highly respected mediators in Maryland. Each session was a half-week training on child access and marital property issues, specifically with custody and divorce cases.
Is Mediation Going To Be Faster Than Taking Family Law-Related Disputes Through The Court Process?
Mediation is a whole lot faster than waiting for your day in court. Depending on what type of divorce or custody case you have, it can usually be resolved in a couple of mediation sessions. You could be done in the same amount of time as quickly as you can schedule the mediation sessions.
With a complex mediation case, additional sessions may be needed. But by and large, many custody cases can be resolved noticeably shorter than how long it would take to court to litigate.
Depending on the type of case, litigation can take anywhere from four to six months to a year before your court date. Mediation is a lot faster. In divorce cases where there are issues regarding property and assets, there might be more to do in valuing the assets, figuring out what to divide, and then mediating how those assets get divided.
You may have to add a couple of mediation sessions for family law cases with distinct issues. Still, even complex cases can resolve faster, having a mediated agreement completed and done within a month or two as opposed to several months if your case is to be litigated in court.
How Does Mediation Work?
Essentially, people need to understand that mediation is where your mediator acts as a neutral third party to help you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse reach an agreement. A mediator’s job is to help you two have a productive conversation about the issues, where you disagree, what things you two need to resolve, and how you two can resolve those in a way that is satisfactory for both parties.
Often when you initially contact a mediator, they will start by gathering some basic information from each party independently. As your mediator, we will ask each side (confidentially) about the issues in the case.
However, there are often only a few discussions with the parties individually that happen at the beginning of the mediation. The initial individual conversations are to help define a basic framework for your legal counsel.
Once you meet with the mediator, your case can go in several different ways, so there’s no set process for what happens when the parties come to mediation. Each case is different, but each case also has a lot of diverse ways it can be handled.
Successful mediation isn’t just dependent on the case but also dependent on the parties involved. Sometimes parties come to mediation who get along, and they understand each other but need to hash out some things about child access or some things about marital property.
Mediation can then be just a conversation between the parties, and the mediator is there to assist so things go quickly and efficiently to where in the end, you two reach an agreement. Some cases are going to be much more complex than that, so only some cases are appropriate for mediation.
Cases that are a good fit for mediation can still have issues where the parties need to get along better or aren’t seeing things the same way. A lot of the work in the mediation at the beginning in those cases is going to be about helping the parties get on the same page so they can reach an agreement.
Mediation can happen as a group, where the parties and the mediator speak together, or it can take the form of breakout sessions, so the mediator can talk to one party and then speak to the other party separately. Since there may be things that one party wants to share or that are relevant that they don’t necessarily want to say in front of the other party, we can handle your mediation this way to try to come together and reach an agreement.
Speaking to each party separately throughout the mediation may take a little longer. Still, once you’ve reached an agreement that resolves all or part of your issues, the next thing that your mediator is going to do is put the agreement in writing.
As experienced family lawyers, we encourage people mediating if they reach an agreement, mainly if the agreement is detailed or if there are many parts to it, to have an attorney look over it.
However, you don’t necessarily have to hire a lawyer to handle your entire case. You can take your mediated agreement to a knowledgeable family lawyer and have them review it and get their advice.
A mediator will put your agreement on paper, and that’s it. There’s no legal advice involved, so many mediated agreements aren’t going to have legalese language or additional provisions that attorneys often add.
A mediated agreement will, however, be a clear and concise record of what the parties have agreed to and how they’ve agreed to resolve their issues. So, we encourage you to have an attorney representing you to look over any mediated agreement and advise about what it will mean to you and your particular situation.
For more information on Child Access And Property Mediation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you seek today by calling (443) 300-2335.