Mediation is the relatively quick, inexpensive, and private way of resolving the issues common to paternity, including the establishment of time-sharing arrangements between the mother and father, and the appropriate amount of child support to be paid.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The mediation begins with an explanation of the rules and procedures by the mediator. Then the mediator asks each parent to talk about their individual perspectives, concerns, and goals related to the child. From this point on, the mediator meets with the parents together and, if appropriate, separately to facilitate communication. The mediator offers different options and alternatives for resolving disagreements, and provides legal, financial, and other information. Upon resolution of all issues, the mediator prepares the necessary court documents and written agreements detailing the decisions made by the parents.
RESTORES AND ENHANCES RELATIONSHIPS.
Mediation is aimed at reducing hostility and increasing understanding between parents, whereas the use of adversarial lawyers is likely to increase anger and other negative feelings. It is for this reason that mediation is likely to improve parental relations.
SAVES TIME AND MONEY.
Paternity mediation typically takes four to six hours – instead of the many months typical of court-based proceedings – thus saving, hundreds if not thousands, of dollars.
PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL.
Mediation is private, whereas court proceedings are public. Anything said or put in writing during mediation is strictly confidential, barred from later use in court.
The parties keep control in mediation; they don’t surrender decision making to lawyers or a judge. The parties may choose to involve lawyers – but as “consultants” not “combatants.”
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
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