Mediation: Alternative Dispute Resolution In Frederick, Maryland
Mediation is not marriage counseling or a “lets get back together” meeting. Mediation is a “how do we get the divorce” and/or “who gets the kids”, kind of a meeting.
A custody mediation is a meeting or meetings guided by a professional (usually a lawyer) where a parent speaks or negotiates with the other parent. The objective is to attempt joint decisions pertaining to the outstanding issues of contention between them. Usually issues which are related to the children.
A divorce mediation is a meeting guided by a professional where the spouse speaks or negotiates with the other spouse.The objective is to settle upon joint decisions pertaining to the outstanding issues of contention between them which are related to the dissolution of the marriage.
Divorce Mediation has changed a great deal in recent years
As described in a preceding article, mediation is a requirement in all divorce and custody cases in Frederick, Maryland. That is a relatively new requirement. The subject continues to change quickly, with different policies and practices in each different court. Changes of late have included:
1) The credentials necessary for a person to be a qualified mediator
2) The expense (cost) of a mediator
3) The agencies who provide or offer mediation
4) The “requirement” of mediation which litigants need to satisfy
5) The “local rules” regarding mediation
One should also know that mediation was previously the only “alternative to litigation.” Now there are several ways for parties to obtain solutions to their disagreements outside of the courtroom. “Mediation” is just one way.
The public is often confused by the name and mission of the other various “alternatives to litigation.” Add to this confusion the proliferation of agencies, administrators, and professionals, all created by the court with the goal to avoid having a judge make all the decisions in your case. Others have been created to humanize the court process and avoid unnecessary damage to the parties and their children. These other litigation alternatives, professionals and administrators include:
1) The Family Law Coordinator
2) The Custody Evaluator
3) The Parent Coordinator
4) The Best Interest Attorney (a kind of child’s attorney)
5) The Guardian Ad Litem (also a kind of child’s attorney)
6) The usual assortment of Therapists for a) the children, b) the parents or both.
7) The Lawyers, the Judges, the Clerks, the Bailiffs and other government personnel
As you can see, it is not unusual for a case to involve a host of persons and resources. When you hear “resources” think “money.” With that being said, the court is making more and more of these resources available for no charge or low charge. Contact your lawyer or the family law coordinator in your jurisdiction.
Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Divorce Place.
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