Mediation and Mediated Settlement Agreements

Mediation is the most favored and popular out-of-court method to resolve a family law conflict. It is often amicable, affordable, and, if agreed to by the parties, available without filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, Petition for Modification, or Motion for Contempt and Enforcement. Parties may attend mediation with legal representation or ‘pro se’ without an attorney. The mediator is a neutral person whose role is to discuss and convey potential resolutions of the issues in dispute. The purpose of mediation is to encourage men and women to resolve their conflict through open and honest negotiation. Generally, anything discussed at mediation is confidential and not admissible in court. Ms. Devack will represent one client at mediation. A Mediated Settlement Agreement, once signed, is a binding contract between the parties which is then adopted by the Court. An out-of-court mediation agreement, entered into freely and voluntarily and after full and fair financial disclosure, will not be disturbed by the Court except under extraordinary circumstances. Spanning two decades of quality family law experience, Ms. Devack strongly encourages mediation and out-of-court settlements when men and women are well informed, eager to participate in a meaningful discussion, possess a realistic view of the potential outcome, and have an ability to compromise his/her dispute.