Divorce with Dignity. Mediation allows privacy, fairness and respect! By Terry Bankert 01/29/08 http://attorneybankert.com/index.php First Posted to Flint Talk http://flinttalk.com/viewtopic.php?p=23730#23730 [posted also to Google blog Good Morning Flint, Flint Citizen,Craigs list,Face Book and My Space, feel free to repost] Last week I began and completed a 40 hr hands on mediation training. there are 2 small steps to go and I will qualify for court ordered mediation. My objective is to grow family and community dispute mediation as a significant portion of my law practice and community involvement. So yes the following does look a little like advertising. I believe if you talk the talk you must walk the walk. Mediation is the foundation for the new kinder gentler, fairer Terry Bankert. Stay tuned. So let me begin. To legally dissolve a marriage, a lawsuit must be filed, but it is no longer necessary to follow the traditional path of litigation to work out the terms of the divorce. Today many couples are turning to mediation to resolve their disputes and negotiate the terms of their divorce. I have been involved in community mediation since 1987 during my stewardship of the Flint Ombudsman office. Mediation builds for the future not tear down because of the past. Mediation is a process in which an impartial third-party mediator facilitates the resolution of a dispute by promoting voluntary agreement by the parties. The mediator facilitates communications, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests, and seeks creative problem solving to enable the parties to reach their own agreement. The mediators can guide you to settlement, prepare the paper work , start to finish, allowing your family to walk with dignity as its members embark on new paths. Goals of Divorce Mediation Whether divorce mediation is agreed to voluntarily by the parties, or is court-referred, the goals of the divorce mediation process are to: Create an equitable, legally sound, and mutually acceptable divorce agreement; Avoid the expense and trauma that often accompany litigation; and Minimize hostility and post-dissolution controversy. Why Divorce Mediation? As the number of divorces has increased, divorcing couples have frequently become frustrated with the humiliation ,excessive costs and delays associated with an overburdened, adversarial litigation system, and have sought ways to play a greater role in determining the details of their divorces. Likewise, the court system has recognized the importance of developing methods of handling disputes outside of the courtroom, and so court-related mediation programs have increased in popularity around the country. Today, mediation, either voluntary or court mandated, is the predominant form of alternative dispute resolution for divorcing couples. Divorce Mediation: Advantages Mediation is a forum in which a neutral mediator facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation, understanding, and settlement. Mediation is particularly suited to divorces and other family law proceedings because there is likely to be a continuing relationship between the parties, especially if minor children are involved. Many divorcing couples find mediation allows them to avoid the high financial and emotional costs of a litigated divorce. Because settlement is generally quicker, costs are reduced. Mediation also allows couples to avoid the risks of trial, protects confidentiality, and decreases stressful conflict. Mediation may also protect the children of a marriage from the pain of parental conflict. Because the parties work to create their own agreements, couples who mediate their divorce settlement often find greater satisfaction than those who go to trial. Moreover, the couples learn skills to help them resolve future conflicts. The Divorce Mediation Process Mediation preparation is often limited, as there is no formal discovery. Frequently, mediation begins with a "general caucus" where the parties and the mediator meet in the same room. The mediator establishes the ground rules in an "agreement to mediate." In court-mandated mediation, the court order will often contain or refer to the "rules of mediation." One of the most important mediation rules is the requirement for confidentiality. Typically, all matters disclosed or occurring during mediation, and any record made during the procedure, are confidential and generally may not be disclosed to anyone unless the parties agree to the disclosure. The parties in a mediation are not required to reach an agreement, and sometimes they do not. Whether the case settles or reaches an impasse, the mediator usually meets with the parties together at the end of the session. If the case has neither settled nor reached an impasse, the mediator will likely encourage the parties to attend another mediation session. If the case does settle, the mediator will urge the parties to sign a settlement to memorialize the agreement. Generally, there is no record of the mediation session, and the only document produced is the settlement (or mediation) agreement. My office will prepare all documents necessary to cause entry of your court judgement of divorce. If settlement is not reached the parties may decide to litigate. If you would like to explore the mediation process and Divorce with Dignity both of your are invited to call for an appointment. The first meeting can be in my office , your church or another neutral setting you decide on. Terry Bankert P.C. 235-1970 or through http://attorneybankert.com/ 34493Sphere: Related Content
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