Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution
Avoid the Hassle of Litigation With High-Quality Mediation Services
If you have a marital or family dispute, Attorney Anne B. Howard can help you find a satisfactory resolution without the stress, cost, and risks of dealing with a court trial. Through Anne’s capable mediation services, you can resolve family, custody, and marital disputes peacefully and conveniently.
Why Mediate Instead of Litigate?
When individuals can resolve their legal issues without having to hire attorneys to litigate in Court, the cost is significantly less.
Mediation services are provided for a flat rate for a set amount of time, including document preparation. Additional hours are available for another fee.
Agreements reached are prepared and filed with the Court, usually without the parties ever having to appear in Court.
Courts are overwhelmed by the number of family law cases. This results in cases taking two-plus years to get to trial. Mediation lets you resolve your case in days or weeks, enabling you and your family to move on with your lives.
Mediation places case resolution and conclusion at the forefront of your case, unlike the Court process where mandatory settlement conferences are often unavailable for well over a year from the date of filing for divorce.
Negotiations between the parties are confidential. No “airing your dirty laundry in Court.” Courts are open to the public. Avoid strangers knowing your family secrets.
Parties can reach fair agreements tailored to their family’s needs, rather than relying on an overloaded judge’s decision. Judges are bound by legal constraints that limit what they can order.
Often when people are working together to settle their issues, they are less likely to try to involve their children and use them as “weapons” against each other. Mediation may reduce conflict between parents so the children are not caught in the middle.
The Mediation Process
Each mediation session typically lasts for 2 hours. Attorney Anne gathers all the information from the parties, completes the requisite Court forms, and submits them to the Court.
After the parties reach an agreement, Attorney Anne personally prepares a Marital Settlement Agreement. The parties may not reach an agreement on all issues. However, the parties may agree that they want to memorialize the agreements reached. In this case, Attorney Anne personally prepares a Stipulated Agreement that is sent to the Court for filing.
Both parties are expected to be respectful of the process and each other. Attorney Anne reserves the right to suspend a mediation session if the parties become very disrespectful and/or combative. The session can be resumed later when tempers cool.
If you want to resolve your case and are willing to negotiate a fair settlement, mediation is for you. Let Attorney Anne help you reach a settlement that may ideally resolve all of your case or at least most of it.
If you are uncomfortable being in the same room as the other party, mediation can be done via Zoom. Attorney Anne will put you in different virtual rooms while she electronically moves between the rooms.
Parties should be aware that where there has been a domestic violence restraining order, the Court will not accept an agreement that the parties share joint legal custody of their children without the alleged perpetrator meeting various criteria.