In family mediation, an independent, professionally trained mediator, helps you and your spouse, ex-spouse or co-parent, create a written agreement resolving issues about divorce, timesharing and other co-parenting issues, alimony, the equitable distribution of your assets and liabilities, and any other issue affecting your family. The written agreement you develop with the mediator will become an enforceable order of the court.
When you wait for your proverbial ‘day in court’ to allow a judge to decide your case, he or she will hear from both sides and make a ruling. The reality is, however, a judge cannot possibly learn all of the intricate details of your family and your assets and liabilities during the time allotted for trial. A judgement will be imposed upon both sides based upon the limited information the judge gets to hear. Mediation, on the other hand, allows both sides to explain to an impartial mediator, in confidence to each side, can help the parties facilitate a voluntary agreement. A mediator, with solid experience litigating and negotiating these types of cases, can assist the parties in identifying issues and coming to agreements without giving advice or favoring one party over the other.
Whether or not you have retained an attorney, you can voluntarily set a mediation prior to the filing of a divorce or a paternity suit to work out the details or, if you already have a final judgement that needs to be modified, prior to filing any legal papers to modify the final judgement, as long as both parties agree to do so. Either way, pre-suit mediation can save your family the cost and stress of litigation. Many people prefer to retain an attorney to accompany to mediation. However, if you cannot afford an attorney, pre-suit mediation is still an option.
Once your case is filed, it will likely be referred to mediation by court order. The parties can select their own mediator. Mediation is the last formalized opportunity to settle your case prior to trial. Selecting a mediator who has the tools to facilitate a voluntary agreement is essential because the cost to prepare your case for trial has sadly become cost prohibitive.
Whether pre-suit or court ordered, Melissa Sarris Kauttu brings to the mediation table vast and diverse experience in the family dynamic and it’s economics, including complex financial issues related to ownership of businesses, real estate, retirement plans, and other assets and liabilities. She can help you resolve the financial issues of divorce and your parenting plan, and she can help you modify a final judgement when changes, such as child support increases or decreases, are needed. Having a mediator who can creatively assist you in resolving issues unique to your family is critical.
“Mediation is the bridge over the negative waters of family conflict. Mediate family matters, because…FAMILY MATTERS.”
~ Melissa Sarris Kauttu
At the Law Station we are dedicated to helping your find resolution and peace reducing the financial burden on you and your family. Comfortable and spacious conference rooms for private caucusing are located at each end of the office. We are conveniently located on US 1, just south of the St. Johns County Public Library Main Branch with free off-street parking. Snacks and beverages provided. Lunches are provided for full day mediations. Call us today to set your mediation at (904) 810-2410. If you are represented by counsel, please ask your attorney to contact us.
Additional services available upon request, including confidential pastoral support and referrals for pre-mediation counseling. Let our staff know when you call to setup your mediation and we will help you find the support you need.