Mediation and Collaboration
Simplify an already difficult situation. Mediation is a tool for individuals to keep their case, their lives, their property, and their children in THEIR hands. A neutral third party assists couples to reach their own agreements and compromises. It’s basically a negotiation conference for compromising and avoiding a trial – where the Judge limits the evidence and time to present it. In a divorce, e.g., husband and wife want to be heard and they generally want the marriage to end quickly. The long-drawn-out battle erodes prospective prosperity (read ‘costs too much money’ and ‘eats the community’s assets’) and destroys the children’s sense of stability. A mediator can identify issues in a business-like manner and keep negotiations on the table – allowing both parties to successfully conclude their case without the need to go to trial. A final agreement is drawn up at the end, everyone signs, and the agreement is enforceable. Both parties win!
Understand that “winning” is also a misnomer. No one really wins a family law case – you’re splitting up stuff – no one gets to keep it all. BUT… it’s even worse to give a random individual (read “JUDGE”) power over partitioning your progeny and property, especially when that person doesn’t know what you’ve been through and gives you a few hours to explain years of information. Let a mediator talk with you and get your offers back and forth. You don’t even have to be in the same room with that “other” person, and you can each have your own attorneys with you, too, for legal advice. Keep the ultimate decisions of your case in your hands; create the agreement yourself. You’ll be proud of the work you accomplish.
Andrew M. Lloyd, Managing Attorney at Lloyd Law Firm, is a certified Mediator and encourages the use of mediation and collaboration for his clients due to the benefits of beginning their new ‘single’ life with compromising agreements, a foundation that is crucial in the ongoing lives of the parties as they inevitably associate in the future.
As to collaboration, Mr. Lloyd has also received the requisite training in this field. Collaboration is a process whereby both divorcing spouses determine early on NOT to go to court. They essentially each hire an attorney to represent them, in addition to a neutral mental health specialist (to aid with communication) and a neutral financial planner (to assist in maximizing property and monetary benefits). These four professionals then meet with the parties jointly in three to four sessions, of about 2 hours each, and a few offline sessions. ALL the parties and professionals are working to reach the joint interests of both parties to capitalize on their true interests for their family’s future, despite the divorce. Instead of paying professionals to fight each other, the divorcing couple pays the professionals to work with other to strategize plans to take full advantage of the couple’s property, assets, possessions, and custody issues.