Archive | Divorce Mediation

Mediation is the best possible way to resolve custody and divorce cases

Mediation is Required in Frederick, Maryland Divorce Cases

Mediation is a requirement for any contested custody or divorce case in Frederick, Maryland.

Divorce Mediation is also the best possible way to resolve custody and divorce cases

In Frederick, Maryland mediation is a necessary step to completing a contested divorce or custody case. At a point early in the case, the parties will receive a court order which identifies a mediator whom they should contact to satisfy their mediation requirement . The judge will not grant you court time until you have: a) engaged in a mediation and b) can identify when and with whom you did the mediation.

The mediator must be “qualified” for the court to deem the mediation requirement satisfied. While most qualified mediators are lawyers, a “qualified” mediator does not have to be a lawyer. It is easy to find out if a mediator is “qualified” with the court in the jurisdiction where you have your case.

Many people have attempted to resolve their differences before they even file with the court. When that is the case, sometimes the court will accept that as satisfaction of the mediation requirement. If the court does not accept your previous mediation or orders you to participate in mediation, you will receive an order as described above.

In some cases, the order will include the expense of the mediator and even the date and time of the initial mediation session. If one or both of the parties is under a severe economic burden, he or she may apply to the court for a waiver of the fee. The court has the authority to waive the fee if parties use the court mediator and sometimes the court will even pay a private mediator or order a private mediator to waive the fee.

You should have a lawyer when you open your case. If you are the defendant you should get a lawyer as soon as you get served with the custody or divorce case. Either way your lawyer can advise you if using the court’s reduced fee “in-house” mediator is in your best interest. If not, your lawyer may recommend at “private” mediator (usually an experienced divorce or custody lawyer.) Some courts will permit any qualified mediator to handle the case. Other courts will specify that the mediator must be a lawyer for all or part of the mediation.

A mediator may handle the discussion as a comprehensive matter. Sometimes you may wish to use the mediation on an “al la carte” basis for example handling one part of the divorce, like child support. In such a case, you may ask the court to decide on a different issue such as property division like the adjustment of retirement plans.

At the time of this article the expense of mediation is $50 per hour for “in-house” mediation and up to $200 for private mediation. In house mediation takes place on the lower level of the Frederick Courthouse and private mediations customarily take place at the mediator’s office. Two sessions are scheduled of not less than two hours each. Many people look to mediation with guarded optimism. Some look to it as an opportunity to resolve a few outstanding issues. Some look at it as just a speed bump.

Mediation as with anything, it is sometimes what you make of it but it is a requirement you must fulfill. If you view it from the point of view that you want to do the minimum to get through you need to 1) attend, you need to 2) pay and you need to 3) exercise good faith. The problem: “good faith” is like “good breath” everybody thinks they have it and thinks that the other guy does not. The general idea is to be engaged or at least look engaged in the process.

 

Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place.

Divorce Attorneys in Frederick Maryland

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

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Divorce Mediation, What It Is and What It’s Not

Mediation: Alternative Dispute Resolution In Frederick, Maryland

 

Mediation is not marriage counseling or a “lets get back together” meeting. Mediation is a “how do we get the divorce” and/or “who gets the kids”, kind of a meeting.

A custody mediation is a meeting or meetings guided by a professional (usually a lawyer) where a parent speaks or negotiates with the other parent. The objective is to attempt joint decisions pertaining to the outstanding issues of contention between them. Usually issues which are related to the children.

A divorce mediation is a meeting guided by a professional where the spouse speaks or negotiates with the other spouse.The objective is to settle upon joint decisions pertaining to the outstanding issues of contention between them which are related to the dissolution of the marriage.

Divorce Mediation has changed a great deal in recent years

As described in a preceding article, mediation is a requirement in all divorce and custody cases in Frederick, Maryland. That is a relatively new requirement. The subject continues to change quickly, with different policies and practices in each different court. Changes of late have included:

1) The credentials necessary for a person to be a qualified mediator
2) The expense (cost) of a mediator
3) The agencies who provide or offer mediation
4) The “requirement” of mediation which litigants need to satisfy
5) The “local rules” regarding mediation

One should also know that mediation was previously the only “alternative to litigation.” Now there are several ways for parties to obtain solutions to their disagreements outside of the courtroom. “Mediation” is just one way.

The public is often confused by the name and mission of the other various “alternatives to litigation.” Add to this confusion the proliferation of agencies, administrators, and professionals, all created by the court with the goal to avoid having a judge make all the decisions in your case. Others have been created to humanize the court process and avoid unnecessary damage to the parties and their children. These other litigation alternatives, professionals and administrators include:

1) The Family Law Coordinator
2) The Custody Evaluator
3) The Parent Coordinator
4) The Best Interest Attorney (a kind of child’s attorney)
5) The Guardian Ad Litem (also a kind of child’s attorney)
6) The usual assortment of Therapists for a) the children, b) the parents or both.
7) The Lawyers, the Judges, the Clerks, the Bailiffs and other government personnel

As you can see, it is not unusual for a case to involve a host of persons and resources. When you hear “resources” think “money.” With that being said, the court is making more and more of these resources available for no charge or low charge. Contact your lawyer or the family law coordinator in your jurisdiction.

 

Timothy Conlon, Esquire for The Custody Place.

Divorce Mediation in Frederick Maryland

OUR PHONES ARE ANSWERED 24/7

CALL US NOW AT 301-865-1101

The Custody Place

19 NORTH COURT STREET
FREDERICK MARYLAND 21701

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