Written by: Attorney Judith E. Payne
September 14th, 2017
You’ve decided that the marriage is over, but you and your spouse want to resolve things amicably – without a big court fight. Where do you start?
Family law mediation is an excellent choice. It is an effective way to get families – your family — to reach decisions based on your best interests – not those of a stranger in a black robe.
Family disputes are best served by mediation because mediation:
- Is private and confidential
- More time-efficient than going to court
- Less expensive than litigation
- Helps maintain positive relationships between parties and keeps the children out of the middle
- Focuses on your family’s interests
- Is more flexible and provides customized solutions
As a result, the outcome is more likely to be obeyed than a court order.
For Wisconsin parties, an amendment was made to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules that permits lawyers who mediate family law cases to draft, edit, conclude and file settlement agreements for parties. Under Wis. Stat. chapter 767, an attorney-mediator can draft, select, complete, modify or file documents confirming, memorializing or implementing such resolution, provided certain rules are followed and spelled out in a written informed consent, signed by the parties.
In Minnesota, a mediator can prepare a document that memorializes any agreements reached. The document is signed by the parties and used as a basis for drafting the final Judgment and Decree.
Under either situation, mediation can serve as an effective tool toward settling your divorce without resorting to litigation.