Mediation

Divorce without court

A mediator can help you reach a good settlement without ever entering the courtroom

There are two main paths in which your situation may proceed: alternative dispute resolution or adversarial proceedings in court. These two paths are very different. Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution intended to be a more low-key, less adversarial option, where a neutral mediator attempts to bring the parties to an agreement. Lewellen | Strebe are mediators who help parties negotiate a settlement in their case in a supportive, empathetic, and neutral environment, are mediators who help parties negotiate a settlement in their case in a supportive, empathetic, and if you hire us to mediate your case, we do not represent either party. Our sole role is to act neutrally and help the parties resolve their case expeditiously.

What is Mediation?

While court proceedings are an essential part of our legal system, there are negatives: litigious attorneys who polarize the parties, unnecessary fees and costs, emotional stress. And court can leave you feeling emotionally exhausted and helpless.

Mediation is an alternative: The parties voluntarily agree to mediate a settlement on all or part of the issues with the assistance of a neutral mediator. The mediator cannot give advice to either party, nor act as a lawyer for either party. The mediator highlights for both parties issues be aware, the strengths and weaknesses in their positions, and proposes possible outcomes and solutions. This can be a more constructive, low-key option, goal is to help the parties jointly resolve the case in a safe, private environment.

Mediation is voluntary. It continues only so long as the parties and the mediator want it to. You or your spouse can withdraw from the mediation process at any time, for a good reason, a bad reason, or no reason at all.

Advantages of Mediation

Mediating couples are more likely to be satisfied with the process and the results, likely to spend less money to resolve the case, and are less likely to go back to court later to fight. The primary advantage of mediation is that it keeps the parties in control of the outcome rather than gambling on what the Court will or will not do. It allows the parties to work through the divorce with less conflict than you would experience in an adversarial divorce.

Benefits:

  • Generally lower cost than the adversarial system with an attorney
  • You Retain Control
  • Time Efficient
  • Confidential
  • Resolve Conflict
  • Flexible Schedules
  • Dignified
  • Neutral

Personal Values in Mediation

We believe that with the proper information and facilitation, people in conflict can take control of their own lives and settle their disputes with dignity. We allow each person the time to share their view and feelings regarding the situation at hand. With the use of our legal knowledge and experience, we enjoy helping people resolve their differences and move on to the next chapter of their lives. We use a full toolbox of techniques to resolve issues, not just a single mediation approach. This puts us in a unique position to handle even the most high conflict matters.

How Does Mediation Work?

PRIVATE PLANNING

Parties do not walk into mediation unprepared and attempt to settle things from scratch. Part of our planning is to work with the parties and/or their lawyers to design the process itself. If attorneys are involved, we encourage them to sign a “disqualification agreement.” Under this agreement the attorneys in the mediation process agree not to litigate.

FIRST MEETING

Unless the parties create a different process, generally, the parties and mediator meet to go over the court papers necessary to obtain a judgment in a divorce, such as, the Petition, Response, Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure, and Judgment papers.

NEGOTIATE

The parties and mediator review each parties’ interests and positions in the case. They work together to resolve the case on mutually satisfactory terms.

SUMMARY MEMORANDA OR TERM SHEET

The parties and mediator jointly create a summary memoranda or term sheet which summarizes the agreement. It is non-binding.

INDEPENDENT REVIEW

Each party will have the opportunity to review the tentative agreement individually and by legal counsel.

PREPARE FINAL SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT

If the parties agree to all of the terms of the tentative agreement, then we can prepare the final settlement agreement for the parties, or the parties can have their legal counsel prepare it.

SUBMIT THE PAPERS FOR JUDGMENT

After Agreement is reached, our office will prepare all court papers, deeds and other documents. We offer parties the opportunity to have lawyers and other professionals participate.