In Michigan, most Family Court Judges require mediation after a divorce, custody, or other family law case is filed. Mediation does not have to be Court Ordered as the parties can agree via a Consent Order to attend Mediation.
Family Law Mediation and Process
Family Law Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party (the mediator) facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute. Mediation is a method for settling disputes outside of the courtroom. Mediation typically saves the party money and opens the lines of communication.
Prior to starting the Family Law Mediation, the mediator will speak with you before the first mediation session to determine if your case is appropriate for mediation. The screening will determine whether issues such as domestic violence, power imbalance, or other factors may affect the parties’ ability to participate effectively in the Family Law Mediation.
During Family Law Meditations, the parties have a chance to share their views in a safe environment and to constructively discuss important issues such as communication, separation, child custody, support and visitation, alimony, debt, division of property and other family matters. There are rules providing that mediation is a confidential process, meaning that communications made during a mediation session by any participant (whether in a joint session or private caucus) cannot be used in court regardless of whether the parties reach an agreement. This rule allows parties the freedom to explore settlement options without the worry that a proposed settlement can later be used against them.
All mediators ask questions to help the parties analyze the situation and decide what they want to do. Sometimes parties also want mediators to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the case, give opinions about what might happen in court, make suggestions about possible settlement options, give advice about making or accepting offers, or urge the parties to settle. Even if your mediator gives you suggestions or opinions, you always have the right to disregard those suggestions and opinions and to make your own decisions, including a decision not to accept a particular offer or not to reach any settlement.
Family Law Mediation Services
Our firm offers Family Law Mediation services to individuals facing family law issues. During the mediation process, Attorney Stelmock facilitates discussions between the parties to help them create a detailed agreement that is catered specifically to their family’s needs. Mr. Stelmock’s goal is to help the parties to facilitate an agreement, as they are more likely to follow an agreement that they helped develop than an arrangement decided by an unknown third-party.
Attorney Stelmock’s hourly rate as a mediator is $200. Additional details regarding Mr. Stelmock’s Family Law Mediation process will be sent to the parties and their attorneys upon a request to schedule a mediation session.
Research shows that most parties are very satisfied with the mediation process and hopefully you will be too. We welcome you to contact our office, 734.927.9782, to schedule a mediation session with Attorney Stelmock; at the time of this blog Mr. Stelmock has practiced Family Law for 20 years. Mediation can be scheduled during regular business hours, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.