At any point in the legal process the parties and their lawyers may choose to sit down and discuss the issues. Such meetings usually take place at a lawyer’s office. In the meeting, the lawyers attempt to negotiate the settlement of any or all of the issues in a case. If the parties are able to resolve all of the issues, they will incorporate the terms of settlement into a Separation Agreement or Minutes of Settlement.
Mediation is a tool that can only be used if both parties agree to be a part of the process. Also, the parties jointly choose and pay for the mediator. Mediators are usually senior family law practitioners who are lawyers, social workers, psychologists, and retired Judges. For more information about Mediation, please refer to our Family Law Mediation website.
Another alternative to litigation is Arbitration. As with Mediation, both parties must consent to the Arbitration and they jointly retain the Arbitrator. Arbitrations are conducted by senior family law counsel or retired family law Judges. Please consult our Family Law Mediation and Arbitration website for more information about Arbitration.
The Med/Arb process is becoming increasingly popular in family law cases. Like Mediation and Arbitration, this process involves the agreement of both parties and is presided over by senior family law counsel. Med/Arb begins with Mediation, which takes place in the same manner as set out above. Please see our Family Law Mediation and Arbitration website for more information on the Med/Arb process.