NELSON HALL PARRY TUCKER, PLLC offers divorce/child custody mediation through its mediation division. SCOTT R. HALL, has represented clients in divorce and child custody cases in Idaho since 1986. Mr. Hall has represented more than one thousand such clients and has mediated more than one thousand cases for the Courts.
MEDIATION VS. LITIGATION
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is either voluntary or Court ordered informal meeting between people involved in a disputed divorce, custody, visitation, property, or other dispute. The goal of mediation is for all sides to reach an agreed upon resolution to the dispute. The mediator facilitates this agreement. Mediation is not therapy or counseling.
WHY IS MEDIATION HELPFUL?
Most disputes result from poor communication. Mediation is an opportunity to communicate better—to be fully heard, to present your story, and to search for mutually satisfactory solutions. In mediation people often communicate more effectively. An experienced mediator can help the parties explore innovative solutions to a problem. In essence you can avert some of the risk of trial by creating your own solutions rather than have a judge impose a decision on you. The outcome of mediation generally produces more satisfaction and greater compliance among its participants. A mediated resolution can help the parties save the significant expense of going to trial as well as put to rest the mental and emotional toll that so frequently accompanies litigation.
WHAT DOES THE MEDIATOR DO?
The Mediator is an impartial, neutral facilitator who will assist the parties to reach their own settlement. The mediator does not make decisions about “right” or “wrong”, tell the parties what to do, or give legal advice. The mediator will not give tax advice or advice about financial planning. The mediator may explain the legal standards if it is apparent that a party does not understand the same. The mediator is not a judge, nor does the mediator have the power or authority to make decisions, force a settlement on the parties, or reach his/her own resolution of the case. The mediator’s responsibility is to facilitate the settlement negotiation process and assist the parties in identifying the issues, reducing misunderstandings, clarifying priorities, exploring areas of compromise, and finding points of agreement.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE AT MEDIATION?
During mediation, the mediator may speak to both parties jointly or in private. Attempts are made to have a joint meeting as opposed to a private caucus. You will have a chance to express your views in a civil manner to the other party. The mediator will help you discuss your disagreement with the other party and will assist you in reaching a settlement that is acceptable to both of you. When the parties are unwilling or unable to talk to one another directly, the mediator will separate the parties and act as a liaison between the two parties in order to assist their communications. To aid in the mediation, the mediator may ask questions to gain an understanding of the issues, help the parties understand the other person’s point of view, discuss weaknesses in the arguments of the parties, or make suggestions to solve the conflict. The mediator, however, will not make the decisions. It is always your decision to determine what is an acceptable settlement. At any time during mediation process you may consult with legal counsel or have your legal counsel come to mediation with you.
WILL THERE BE A RECORD OF THE AGREEMENT?
Generally, the mediator will prepare the “mediation agreement”, which will spell out the matters agreed to by the parties. Any mediated agreement is subject to review by the party’s attorney and is not final until signed after consultation with the party’s attorney and approved by the Court. In the event the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the mediator will simply report to the judge that mediation was unsuccessful.
CAN MY STATEMENTS IN MEDIATION BE USED AGAINST ME IN THE COURT?
Mediators hold all communications made to them in confidence, unless you authorize the disclosure. The Idaho Rules of Evidence and Idaho Rules of Civil Procedure provide that statements made in mediation or in settlement negotiations are not admissible in court. The mediator will not be a witness for or against either party in a court of law.
HOW DO I ARRANGE MEDIATION?
The Mediation division of NELSON HALL PARRY TUCKER, P.A., conveniently located in Idaho Falls, is equipped with multiple rooms that facilitate your mediation needs. Please contact SCOTT R. HALL to help you resolve your disputes in an amicable and cost effective way. If you are already represented by an attorney, please have your attorney’s office contact us.