Mediation can be an extremely valuable tool to resolve complex legal matters. Whether you are facing divorce, child custody, or another family law dispute, mediation may be an excellent option to reach a favorable solution outside of the courtroom. A Washington DC mediation lawyer can advise whether mediation may be suitable based on your particular case. A compassionate family lawyer can also tailor a plan of action with effective strategies for your mediation to pursue the most advantageous resolution possible.
How Mediation Works
Mediation can be pursued of the parties’ own volition or in some cases mediation may be ordered by the court. The court may require the parties to go through mediation if a lawsuit has already been started in an effort to attempt to reach a solution apart from litigation.
At mediation, the dissenting parties would meet with a neutral mediator who would work with both sides to pursue a resolution. If the parties reach an agreement, the agreement would be put in writing and signed. On the other hand, if one party disputes the agreement, the mediator’s resolution would not be legally enforceable and the case would proceed to trial.
In situations where both parties decide to go through mediation of their own free will, their Washington DC lawyer may be present at the actual mediation or instead help them prepare prior the mediation. An attorney could counsel the client regarding the most advisable approach based on the details of their specific scenario.
When a mediation is mandated by the court, the agreement would typically be entered before the judge, both parties and their lawyers, and the mediator.
Arbitration vs. Mediation
Arbitration is another common form of alternative dispute resolution that may be recommended by a DC attorney instead of mediation, depending on the goals of the client and the facts of their case. In contrast with mediation, however, arbitration decisions are legally enforceable. This means that neither party may not contest the arbitration judgement once it is entered, unless some limited exception applies.
If someone is considering arbitration, it is critical that they talk to an attorney with experience advising clients in these types of cases. The arbitrator would listen to both sides before rendering a final decision on the matter, but would not provide legal counsel to either party. An attorney could help the client decide whether arbitration may a viable solution to litigation as opposed to mediation.
Learn More from a Washington DC Mediation Attorney
A Washington DC mediation lawyer should be consulted immediately if you are considering mediation or have been ordered to take part in these proceedings by the family court. Mediation could be a mutually beneficial alternative to resolving a legal dispute in court, but is important to be clear about your legal rights and goals before you ever enter the mediation room.
An attorney could help you prepare for mediation proceedings and carefully evaluate any mediation agreements before you put your signature to paper. A lawyer with an extensive background in this form of dispute resolution could explain how the process works, what to expect once you are at mediation, and discuss any legal concerns or questions that may be raised. Call a DC attorney today for your confidential legal consultation to discuss whether mediation may be right for you.