What is Mediation?
Mediation is simply a conversation, facilitated by a professional. It acknowledges the emotion around conflict in a way the courts aren’t equipped. It is a collaborative process not an adversarial process. It can bring out the best in parties by identifying and building off not only an individual party’s interests and objectives but also the family’s collective interests and objectives. In mediation the parties are asked to formulate their own agreement, in a court a commissioner or judge orders a result.
Christina is an attorney and a court-rostered Master Mediator and Mentor who follows the best practices for mediation as outlined by the Utah Courts and the Utah Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. She is an active committee member of the Utah chapter of the AFCC. She has extensive training in helping parties to work through conflict towards a resolution unique to the parties’ circumstance. Mediation can be a cathartic and creative process. The mediator is a neutral third party. Our job is not to find the truth or to judge the parties or circumstance. My policy is to validate the conflict, but not to escalate it.
Often times, a more flexible agreement can be reached in mediation, allowing the parties to determine what will work best for their family. It is typically a more cost effective solution as opposed to going to trial. It can also be a less formal and more compassionate process for families dealing with the dissolution of a marriage or changes to family circumstances. It is a self determined process because the parties offer what they are willing to do and work together towards finding a solution to their particular issue. Mediations can be held with attorneys present or without attorneys (pro se). The mediator is not able to give legal counsel, but can help parties navigate the applicable laws by providing information.
Nothing is legally binding unless the parties agree in writing. Christina works with attorneys offering a flat fee for the drafting of legal documents and the parties can file with them with the appropriate courts. Mediation is also a cost effective way to modify existing orders around child custody, parent time and support. Parents are best equipped to work together to find good solutions for their children and a good mediator can help bring out the best of parents around their unique situation where their children become the focus of the discussion. A professional court-rostered mediator works without judging the parties to find the agreement where multiple truths exist.