Find a Resolution with the Help of an Experienced Bethesda Family Mediation Lawyer
While disagreements between family members can involve various legal issues, they can also involve much more. In many cases, longstanding relationships can be at stake, and the outcome of a disagreement can affect not only those involved but other family members as well. Given these unique dynamics, it is important to engage an experienced Bethesda family mediation lawyer who can help guide you toward a positive outcome.
From divorces to disputes involving financial responsibilities and property rights, family law mediation can be an effective tool in a wide range of scenarios. If you are dealing with any family-related legal issue, we strongly recommend that you turn to a family mediation lawyer for advice before making any decisions that could impact you or anyone you love.
What Happens in Maryland Family Law Mediation?
So, what is family law mediation, and what happens during the process? Simply put, family law mediation is a tool for resolving disputes when the individuals involved are not able to reach a resolution on their own. But, unlike going to court and asking a judge to render a decision, in family law mediation you maintain control of the outcome. The mediator is there to offer suggestions and help each party see the other party’s point of view; and, in most cases, this is enough to bring the parties to terms.
When Can You Use Family Law Mediation?
There are lots of circumstances in which family law mediation can be a good option. Since mediation facilitates an amicable outcome and is substantially less costly than litigating a dispute in court, both parties will usually share a common interest in using mediation to their collective benefit. Some examples of circumstances in which family law mediation can be helpful include:
- Developing a parenting plan (i.e., for unmarried parents)
- Establishing child support or alimony
- Modifying a parenting plan or financial support obligation
- Addressing matters related to elder care
- Distributing inherited property
- Family business disputes and succession
While pursuing mediation can seem daunting, the process is actually fairly simple and straightforward. You can develop a plan with your Bethesda family mediation lawyer, and then your lawyer can reach out to schedule a mediation session. During your mediation session, the mediator will control the proceedings, and you will work alongside your lawyer to try to reach an agreement with the mediator’s assistance. In many cases, all it will take is one mediation session to move forward. But, if you make progress and there is still work to be done, you can schedule another session to keep building toward an amicable resolution.
What Are the Benefits of Family Law Mediation?
Family law mediation offers several benefits. While the specific benefits of pursuing mediation vary from one circumstance to the next, generally speaking, the benefits include:
- Identifying the Issue(s) in Dispute – Oftentimes, disagreements arise because family members (or former spouses or partners) aren’t seeing eye to eye. Family law mediation allows those involved to identify the issues in dispute, focus their resolution efforts, and get past any misunderstandings that are getting in the way of having a meaningful discussion.
- Prioritizing Issues and Addressing Them One At a Time – Another common issue in family-related legal matters is that the dispute is so complicated that the parties can’t even agree on where to begin. With a clear picture of the issues that require resolution, family members (or former spouses or partners) can prioritize and work through their differences one by one.
- Considering All Viable Options – When disagreements become confrontational, individuals will often be unwilling to consider any option proposed by the other person. In mediation, one of the mediator’s main roles is to help make sure the parties are considering all viable options. This includes suggesting options the parties haven’t previously considered.
- Taking the First Step – To use family law mediation, both parties need to agree to participate in good faith. In many cases, this agreement itself serves as the first step toward open, honest and productive discussions about the issues underlying the parties’ disagreement.
- Coming to Terms Without Court Involvement – Finally, successful family law mediation allows the parties involved to come to terms without court involvement. Once you reach an agreement, your Bethesda family mediation lawyer will draft a contract that confirms the terms to which you have agreed and that is legally binding.
What happens if you don’t reach an agreement through family law mediation? While this is always a possibility, in our experience this outcome is relatively uncommon when both parties have agreed to mediate in good faith. In addition, many family law mediators are extremely good at what they do, and they can help resolve even highly contentious disputes in a relatively short period of time. But, if mediation proves unsuccessful in your case, you still have all of the options you had before pursuing mediation—including seeking relief in court if necessary.
Do You Need To Hire a Bethesda Family Mediation Lawyer?
Technically speaking, if you are dealing with a family-related legal dispute, you have the option to represent yourself in family law mediation. However, there are several reasons why we don’t recommend this approach.
First and foremost, while the mediator can help guide you toward an amicable resolution, the mediator cannot provide you with legal advice. That is not the mediator’s role—the mediator is a neutral third party. To ensure that you are making informed decisions, you will need an experienced Bethesda family mediation lawyer on your side. Your lawyer will also help you decide when (and if) to pursue mediation, help you consider the options the mediator proposes, and ensure that your settlement agreement—if you reach an agreement—contains all of the necessary terms.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you would like to know more about the benefits of family law mediation, we invite you to get in touch. To schedule a free consultation with Bethesda family mediation lawyer Brandon Bernstein, please call 240-395-1418 or tell us how we can help online today.