Mediation Myths

Myth: Mediation is not suited for complex matters.

Fact: On the contrary, the more complex the matter, the more suitable mediation may be.  Trying cases can be difficult, time consuming and a challenging.  Judges may or may not understand the law and the implications of their decisions.  And they may rule in ways neither party expected, or is not in the best interest of the children.  While you have little control in the courtroom, reaching an agreement you can live with not only greatly reduces the conflict between the parties, but also is far more likely to have both parties comply.

Ms. Kreis is very comfortable with complex financial and child issues, and is able to offer helpful suggestions and insights as someone who understands finances, has substantial litigation skills and is a parent.  Mediation is far more flexible then litigation, and the parties are not restrained by the law in the same manner that the court is, leading to more flexible outcomes, better suited to the help the parties and their children move on with their lives.  It goes without saying that mediation is substantially more cost efficient then preparing and attending a hearing, with less potential downside for the parties.

Myth: I cannot come with Counsel, or must have counsel with me.

Fact: It is your choice on whether to appear at mediation with or without counsel.

Myth: I have to be in the same room.

Fact: You do not have to be in the same room, and if there is a restraining order, or one of the parties or counsel does not believe being in the same room would be safe or productive, the parties will be place in separate, non-adjoining conference rooms.   Additionally, the Ms. Kreis may separate the parties if she believes being in the same room will keep the parties from reaching an agreement.   Ms. Kreis will always ask at the beginning of the mediation if the parties would like to be in the same room.  If anyone does not agree to be in the same room, they will be placed in separate rooms, no further questions asked.  Additionally, if the parties or counsel, at any point during the mediation process request separate rooms, the request will be immediately granted.   Parties must be as comfortable as possible during the process.  Snacks and drinks are always available as well.

Myth: Cases with Domestic Violence or Restraining Orders should not be mediated.

Fact: A substantial proportion of cases coming to this office involve Restraining Orders, or Domestic Violence during the term of the party’s relationship.   Most are settled successfully.

Myth: My spouse is intimidating and therefore I don’t think mediation will work.

Fact: If you are intimidated by your spouse or the process, simply request separate rooms.  You are also able to arrive later and leave earlier then your spouse to lower the possibility of running into them in the halls or parking lot.

Myth: I cannot mediate when my Spouse it lying or hiding assets.

Fact: A spouse may lie or hide assets whether they are in front of judge, or in mediation.  In mediation we often are able to immediately request and obtain statements from the other side, so as to not hold up settlement.  This on the spot method is typically disallowed in court, but works great in the mediation setting.

Myth: I think I need an expert.

Fact: There are many ways to resolve issues, including the use of experts. Parties can agree to an expert in the mediation process, await the report, and then return to mediation. Additionally, there are other resources available for valuation of property which may be utilized, or other methods of valuing property that don’t require the use of an expert.  Many times, the parties can agree on a value of a property or business, without the additional cost of experts.

If an expert is required for the resolution of children’s issues, the parties can agree to the expert in mediation. Often agreements are reached regarding counseling for the parties and/or children as well. It is in the best interest of the parties and children to get the matter over with, and allow everyone to move on with their lives. Moreover, drug, alcohol and mental health issues can be resolved in mediation as well, often without a Child and Family Investigator, or PRE.

Myth: The Judge will know better then us on what is best for our children.

Fact: The parents know their children and their children’s needs better than anyone else. Unless you feel like a stranger is your best option for resolution of your dispute, mediating the issues, which allows you some control and flexibility, if often the best method.  If you have special-need children, whether ADHA/ADA. Autistic, GT kids, or children with physical or mental disabilities, Ms. Kreis can help you fashion a plan that will work.  Ms. Kreis has worked with many families with special-needs children and has a GT child herself.  As such she is aware of the issues of raising special needs children and how divorce affects them.

Additionally, often in mediation Ms. Kreis can evaluate the case, and can suggest options that resolve the dispute.  This can save substantial money and resource that are better spent on your children, or moving on with your lives.

In the event an expert opinion is required, that can be arranged in mediation.

Parties need to keep in mind that they know the entire history of their situation.  The court will only hear a boiled-down summary, and typically will never meet your kids.  With this limited information, the court will then attempt to come up with a parenting plan to fit your situation.   Mediation can spend more time examining how certain suggested plans will affect your kids and your life, and can also ensure that the children have the best possible schedule to meet their needs.

Myth: I need to talk with an attorney, and bring one with me to mediation.

Fact: You do not need to bring an attorney, or even consult with one prior to attending mediation.

Myth: I have to file something with the Court prior to mediating.

Fact: No, you do need to file something with the court prior to attending mediation, and you may have an order which requires mediation prior to filing any document with the court. Also, it is often better to begin the mediation process without filing any documents with the court to allow for the greatest use of time and flexibility of the process. Call for more information to determine if this is the right procedure for you.