Mediation: An Alternative to the Courtroom

Does the thought of going to court fill you with dread? Do you fear that a court action will cause too much acrimony or expense? Do you or your spouse feel that your divorce is a private matter, and discussing very personal (and possibly painful) issues in the courtroom may produce endless amounts of anxiety or upset feelings?

Or, maybe you both know it's over and you don't have much to fight about in terms of property division. Maybe you already have a tentative agreement worked out regarding your kids and/or financial issues. Perhaps going to court repeatedly seems like a waste of time and money, if you both already know what you want.

Mediation was designed for these types of family law situations. At Walden & Schuster, S.C., we provide family law mediation services for families in Waukesha and the surrounding areas of southern Wisconsin. Mediation gives couples who know what they want a more efficient and effective means of settling family law disputes swiftly, amicably and economically. In some circumstances, you may not even need to appear in court.

How Mediation Works

In mediation, couples meet with a neutral mediator who facilitates discussions about how to divide marital property, child custody and placement, child support, maintenance or any other issues. The mediator does not provide advice or advocate for either side, but rather gives the couple a safe, neutral space to collaboratively resolve their family law issues. Individuals may also elect to consult with their own separate lawyers during mediation proceedings.

Our attorneys offer services both as mediators and as advocate counsel for individuals during mediation. Whatever your needs are, we can help you find creative solutions that fit your family's needs, budget and goals.

Wisconsin law also recently changed to allow mediators to draft legal documents on your behalf and to file them with the court, which allows you more certainty of knowing your important court documents have been drafted properly.

Benefits of Mediation

Some of the many benefits of mediation include:

  1. It avoids the many pitfalls of litigation. Litigation is generally stressful and costly. A mediated agreement can avoid excessive cost, stress, time off of work, and increased acrimony between two parties.
  2. You may achieve a rapid settlement. A mediated agreement can bring you a much quicker resolution of your court case. Court actions often take months or years to reach completion, if an agreement cannot be reached.
  3. It saves time. Mediation puts control of the schedule in your hands. You and your spouse meet with the mediator on your own timetable, which means you can avoid attending multiple hearings, taking excessive time off of work and missing important events.
  4. It's more cost-effective. Mediation can also help you save money on your divorce because you may only need a few sessions to settle your matter and you may only need one final court hearing.
  5. You may achieve improved compliance with court orders. Generally, parties who reach a mutually satisfactory agreement have greater compliance with the terms of the agreement due to fact they had greater control over the outcome and had a say in the terms of the agreement, rather than having third parties impose opinions or decisions as to the outcome of their case.
  6. It often reduces stress. Most people are very unfamiliar with the court process, which causes fear, uncertainty, expense, and stress. The ability to reach an agreement quickly reduces these factors, and can bring about peace, closure, and reduced stress.

What If Mediation Doesn't Work?

Mediation doesn't work for everyone. Mediation can be challenging in situations involving domestic violence, emotional abuse or manipulation, and in high-conflict situations. Our attorneys are very sensitive to these issues, and are willing to work with you to attempt mediation even in difficult situations. We are willing to make any necessary adjustments to keep you separate during the mediation process.

Please note it is also possible to reach partial agreements. However, if after a reasonable effort you still cannot reach a mediated agreement, you can address any and all issues in court. If that is the case, please be aware that the mediator cannot represent you or your spouse in court, so you will need to consult with separate counsel.

Discuss The Benefits Of Mediation With Our Attorneys

Think you might benefit from family law mediation? We can help you determine whether this form of alternative dispute resolution is right for you. Contact our Waukesha mediation lawyers at 262-955-8330 to schedule a consultation.