Westport Divorce Attorneys recommend “Represented Mediation” as the Best Practice in Alternative Dispute Resolution
A “Represented Mediation” is a Divorce Mediation wherein one or both parties are independently represented by an attorney throughout the Mediation process, including their review of your final mediated agreement as “Review Counsel.” The attorney(s) work hand-in-hand with each party, in the background, and advise on all aspects of Connecticut Law involved in the dissolution of marriage and the negotiation of Alimony, Child Support, Custody. Parenting Plans, and Division of Property, etc.
This does not necessarily mean that the attorney(s) participate in meetings with the mediator, although that can happen. It simply means that meaningful and timely legal input is provided each step of the way to one degree or another.
Representation and legal input matters throughout the entire process
Selecting the right mediator is critical (the beginning)
A mediator is, by definition, a neutral party and does not represent you. A mediator’s objective is settlement. The process that mediators employ promotes compromise by both sides. The mediator manages the tone of your settlement discussions and the structure/rules of the process in which you will participate.
Selecting the right mediator is consequential. Your decision should be very carefully considered and well vetted. In our many years of experience, having the benefit of counsel’s input in selecting the right mediator can be extremely determinative to both the quality and success of your outcome.
Selecting a divorce mediator is always a joint decision between you and your spouse. That said, you both may feel differently about the professional qualifications you seek in a mediator or your comfort level with their personality and approach. Having an independent counsel or advisor at this stage of the process can help guide you through one of the most cricital decision and put you on the right path.
Things to consider when selecting a mediator for your divorce:
- Professional qualifications (lawyer vs. non-lawyer, accountant/financial expert, licensed LMFT, a mental health background, etc.);
- Experience, education, training;
- Communication skills;
- Philosophy, approach, style;
- Comprehensiveness of the process;
- Cost of services;
- Convenience/Length of Time;
- Location/Office environment
Needle|Cuda’s extensive experience representing clients in divorce mediations and all kinds of family law matters gives us informed perspective for prioritizing and aligning these factors and identifying mediators may be compatible with you and/or a match.
Understanding CT Law and shaping the process (the middle)
An advocate can help shape the flow of the negotiation on your behalf, explain your rights under CT Law, and protect your interests throughout. Without a lawyer by your side, the progression of the mediation may be more about getting to “yes” than what is fair for you, especially if there is an uneven power dynamic in the marriage. There are a lot of ways to getting to a “yes” in a settlement negotiation, but not all of them are necessarily in your long-term best interests.
Counsel can also provide timely explanations of CT Law, legal context, and any enforcement implications that relate to the key decisions, compromises, and trade-offs that you will face in your mediation on your way to a settlement.
Counsel can provide you with input, guidance and practical perspective accumulated from years of direct experience in the resolution of hundreds of divore and family law related matters.
Finalizing a Settlement Agreement (the end)
Review Counsel can ensure that your agreement means what you think it means. Additionally, they will highlight and explain any risk factors inherent in your agreement to make sure you understand and are comfortable with the choices and decisions you have made. And to the extent you are not, Review Counsel will assist with final revisions to your agreement.
Since long-term family, parenting, and income related divorce matters can be largely unpredictable, Review Counsel will also make sure that your agreement is clearly articulated and easily enforceable, so in the event that there are disagreements over time (particularly when there are custody and parenting issues involved), those disagreements can be resolved quickly and without ambiguity with respect to Connecticut Family Law. If you ever have to bring a dispute before the CT Family Court, the enforceability of your agreement and strength of your position would be interpreted under laws, statutes, and rules of the State of Connecticut.
There is no better way to make sure that your divorce agreement will stand up and serve you well over time relative to all the unpredictable factors involving family, parenting, and the long-term financial elements related to divorce than to involve an experienced divorce and family law attorney as Review Counsel for your mediated divorce agreement.
Contact Needle|Cuda to learn more about Represented Mediation and how the process can be customized and mitigate risks of traditional mediation
To arrange a consultation, call us today at 203-557-9500 or contact our Westport office online.