Mediation Process Option
Understanding Pro Se Mediation
We offer mediation as a process option for pro se parties (the parties do not have lawyers representing them in mediation). However, if we believe it would be helpful for the parties to obtain legal advice or additional information, we will refer them to their own legal counsel or other professionals for consult prior to our next session.
Our Role as Mediators
In our role as mediator, we act as a neutral and facilitate the parties’ agreement on issues in dispute. While acting as a mediator, we are unable to provide legal advice to the parties, however, we are able to provide information regarding what we believe a court would do in your case.
Benefits of Mediation Outside the Court System
Mediation is done outside of the court system. This allows the parties autonomy over their agreements and provides a protected place to have open conversations and negotiations. The rules of evidence do not allow the use of documentation or discussions made during mediation to be used in court. This rule is meant to encourage parties to have open conversations and unhindered ability to negotiate in mediation. Mediation is successful with parties who have a willingness to bring all information to the table and negotiate with an open mind with a goal toward resolution.
Session Structure and Follow-Up
Although we can mediate in longer or shorter sessions, we generally schedule two-hour sessions with parties. This allows time for parties to complete homework, which may consist of getting advice from their attorney, CPA, financial advisor, or another professional or obtaining additional information that is necessary for both parties to make an informed decision. After each session, we send follow-up notes to reflect agreements reached and outstanding homework items.
TFL offers mediation for the following areas
- Divorce / Legal Separation
- Committed Intimate Relationship
- Prenuptial, Postnuptial, and Cohabitation Agreements
- Property Division
- Spousal Maintenance / Spousal Maintenance Modifications or Termination
- Parenting Plans / Parenting Plan Modifications
- Child Support Orders / Child Support Order Modifications