Indianapolis Divorce Mediator
As a family law attorney in Indiana, my firm is dedicated to helping families through the challenging and emotionally wrought cases that are family law disputes. My practice handles a range of family law matters, including divorce mediation. As a divorce mediator, I am committed to helping my clients reach a fair and equitable solution to their family law disputes. Mediation is designed as a non-adversarial approach to avoid litigation if possible. The goal in mediation is to provide solutions to help you resolve matters and reach an agreement without the case turning into a lengthy and costly legal battle.
At Cindy L. Kenworthy, P.C., you can trust that you will get the support you need. I will work with you to develop a personalized strategy that works toward your goals and desired outcomes. If you are interested in mediation for your divorce, Cindy L. Kenworthy, P.C. is here to help. Contact me online or give the firm a call at 317-516-0515.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a form of alternative resolution dispute (ADR). It is a private process during which a neutral third party assists in resolving disagreements without court involvement.
Mediation is considered by many to be a healthy alternative to litigation, allowing couples to reach amicable agreements. For this reason, Indiana promotes mediation and often requires couples to attempt mediation before their contested divorce can be taken to court.
The Role of the Divorce Mediator: A Neutral Third Party
The divorce mediator acts as a neutral third party who has no stake in the outcome of the divorce. Mediators serve as guides to help the couple navigate their issues and arrive at an amicable agreement. The mediator does not make decisions for the couples, nor do they provide legal counsel during mediation.
The goal of a mediator is to facilitate constructive communication without things escalating into an argument or an aggressive confrontation. The approach of a mediator is to encourage finding solutions while helping parties feel more in control of the process.
The Benefits of Divorce Mediator
There are many advantages to choosing divorce mediation over courtroom litigation:
- More affordable: Mediation is typically less expensive than litigation.
- Confidential: Divorce mediation is a private process that occurs in the privacy of a mediator’s office or via a private video call.
- More control: During mediation, a couple is able to make their own decisions about what works best for them. In contrast, with litigation, where the judge will make decisions for them.
- Quicker resolution: Though every case is unique, mediation often allows a couple to resolve disputes much more quickly.
- Less stress and upset: Because mediation eliminates the need to appear and testify in a courtroom, which is accessible to the public. Mediation creates a calmer process that reduces the emotional toll on everyone involved.
- Flexible scheduling: Mediation may be scheduled at whatever time works best for both parties instead of having to adhere to a court schedule.
Preparing for Mediation
Preparation is often the key to getting the most out of the process. We will work with you in choosing your divorce mediator and in preparing a divorce mediation checklist of the issues you want to discuss with them and hope to resolve.
Prior to mediation, we prepare a Confidential Mediation Statement, which provides the mediator with the relevant case facts and issues. This Statement allows the mediator to be up to speed on the issues before we begin mediation
Before beginning mediation it is helpful for you to set realistic goals and expectations and prepare to engage in thoughtful and constructive conversations. If you begin mediation feeling defensive, for example, mediation might not work out. If you are prepared to have mindful communication, however, and work on your conflict resolution skills, your mediation is likely to be more of a success.
The Mediation Process
At the beginning of mediation each party and their attorney are placed in a room (real or virtual) so that contact with the opposing party is limited although the mediator may bring the attorneys together at various times and for various reasons throughout the session. The mediator will move between rooms and will begin by explaining the rules of mediation, address any housekeeping issues and confirm the issues to be addressed. Unless a party requests to be the first to speak with the mediator, the mediator is free to chose who he/she will start with.
During mediation, the mediator collects the offers being made by one party regarding the issues and then discusses those offers with the opposing party and later returns with new or modified offers. The mediation process can be very lengthy and requires intense concentration and awareness of the ebb and flow of offers. By the end of a mediation session the original offers may have changed substantially as the result of each party gaining insight into how they each view the issues. If, the mediator believes that additional issues may be resolved through mediation, he/she has the authority to require the parties to return for a second mediation session.
Neither party is required to reach an agreement on any issue. All agreements are voluntary. Any agreements that are reached are reduced to writing and signed by the parties and counsel before mediation is concluded. Those agreements are binding on the parties and save for very limited circumstances will not be set aside by a court. Once the agreement are signed the mediator will file the written agreement with the Court and, barring an unforeseen problem should be signed by the Court and become the law of the case until further order of the court.
How a Divorce Mediation Attorney Can Help
A family law attorney can often make the best divorce mediators because they have the most experience and knowledge when dealing with difficult family disputes. You are not required to choose a lawyer as your mediator, but it is often more beneficial than choosing someone with limited hands-on experience or someone who’s knowledge was gained through mediation classes.
When you work with an attorney experienced in family law mediation, you have someone on your side who can, in detail, prepare you for mediation. A lawyer will have more knowledge of the law and work to ensure that you understand how the law relates to your situation and the issues you need to have resolved.
An attorney experienced in family law mediation will be able to help you brainstorm more creative and effective solutions to your problems. Although an attorney cannot make decisions for you, they can provide you with suggestions and options from which to choose.
A divorce mediation attorney will also be able to help you set realistic goals based on their past experiences handling cases similar to yours and their knowledge of the law. This will allow you to have a better idea of the outcomes you can expect from the mediation process.
Many of the courts in Indiana require parties to submit to mediation if the court time required will be more than 2 hours. However, if the mediation isn’t working or is not a good fit for you, your lawyer can also advise you when litigation may be the better option.
Cindy L. Kenworthy, P.C. — Divorce Mediator in Indianapolis You Can Count On
At Cindy L. Kenworthy, P.C., I have extensive experience with mediation, both as a divorce mediator and an attorney in mediation. My goal is to help you achieve the best possible outcome while minimizing the negative effects that can come from traditional divorce litigation. With more than almost 40 years of experience handling complex legal cases, Cindy L. Kenworthy, P.C. is dedicated to helping families dealing with difficult family disputes.