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Why Mediation?

Mediation is often an alternative, but generally also a prerequisite prior to having a contested hearing on issues before the family courts.  Many family courts will require litigants to attempt mediation prior to scheduling court time.  Many issues which could be addressed by the family courts are better left and more easily agreed upon in mediation. What is Mediation?  Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution avenue in which parties attempt to resolve their differences with the use of a mediator.  A mediator is trained in helping to find common ground so that the parties can settle the case or issue without the need for a judge or referee. Does a Mediator Decide the Case?  No.  The mediator is not a judge, referee or arbitrator.  The mediator cannot force a settlement or demand that either party accept terms.  A mediator will often advise the parties of the relative strengths and weaknesses of their case, may opine as to possible outcomes if the parties proceed to court, and will advise of the additional cost and time necessary for litigation. What if Mediation Fails?  Generally the case will proceed to court for a Judge to make the decisions when the parties cannot agree.  Many attorneys utilize mediation to explore avenues of common interest and possible resolutions.  Even though the mediation is confidential, there are times when some information may be gleaned from mediation that may be useful in preparation for trial.  Some courts, notably Ohio Domestic Relations, may require 2 or 3 attempts at mediation prior to scheduling a contested hearing. Are Mediators Neutral?  Yes.  Despite who "picks" the mediator, the mediator remains neutral and has the sole intention of trying to resolve the case.  Generally both attorneys will agree on a mediator to use that they have success with in the past. Why Mediation?  The focal point of my blog herein.  Mediation is generally a much less expensive alternative to traditional litigation.  Many, if not most, cases can resolve in the course of mediation.  Ultimately having some control over the outcome is favorable to most clients than the protracted litigation and placing the decision in the hands of a judge that does not know you or your family. If you have further questions or with to discuss in consultation, contact Michael Bouldin at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email at mwbouldin@fuse.net.

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