Meet Your Mediator
Benjamin Lawrence is a mediator and he loves it! Ben has been to court many times representing one parent against another. While he is good at it, he enjoys collaborative solutions including mediation. Mediation allows parents to craft their own solutions which are often better than those crafted by the courts.
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How Mediation Works
Mediation is a collaborative meeting between the parties with a dispute and a neutral, third-party mediator. The mediator is selected by both parties but does not make a final decision in the dispute, but instead, works with both parties to come to a mutually acceptable agreement. Mediation can take multiple forms, depending on the needs of each party. Typically, the mediator will start out a mediation session with both parties together in the same room and will listen to each side’s position. Then, the mediator often will separate the parties in two separate rooms and talk to each side separately throughout the process. The mediator will point out weaknesses in the case, point out strengths, and suggests solutions to the dispute. A successful mediation will end with both sides agreeing to do, or refrain from doing, certain things. Sometimes, at the end of the mediation session, the parties will then put their agreement in to writing and present it to the court as a suggested “order of the court” that would be binding on both parties. This last part is not a necessary part of mediation, however, it has the benefit of preventing the same dispute from arising in the future if one side fails to uphold their side of the agreement.