Mediation can mean different things at different times in a divorce.
This form of mediation occurs early in the divorce process and is generally a way for the two parties to work together on coming up with an agreement before they dive into litigation.
Early Mediation is therefore generally a cooperative process. The mediator is there to help guide the discussion and help the parties get past any stuck points.
Early Mediation is often started even before the parties have hired their family law attorneys. At Seattle Divorce Services, mediators Janel Ostrem and Nathan Cliber provide these services to help parties reduce conflict and find solutions to resolve their disputes.
Settlement Conference Mediation
Settlement Conference Mediation occurs later in a divorce, usually following litigation and is often close to trial. At Seattle Divorce Services, Mark Alexander offers settlement conference mediation services.
The parties may both be committed to resolution, but this type of mediation is usually done with attorneys present and the parties in separate rooms. The Settlement Conference mediator typically will also listen to trial arguments and offer an opinion as to what results the parties might expect from the court.
Potential mediation clients should be aware that the intake process is different than for clients seeking legal representation. When we act as attorneys in a divorce case, we can only represent one of the parties. Therefore even our initial consultation is generally with just the one person.
On the other hand, when we are going to be acting as a neutral mediator, we want to meet with both parties from the very beginning, so that there is no suspicion by one side that the other has had a chance to influence us improperly.
Therefore if you are interested in mediation, please let us know right away when you first contact us so that we can schedule the initial consultation with both parties and not just you.
We look forward to helping cooperative couples find a path towards mutually agreed resolutions. Please contact our offices if you would like to schedule a session with one of our mediators and begin the journey to resolution.