When the right circumstances exist, the parties jointly can hire a mediator to confidentially meet and discuss their respective rights and obligations. Mediation is also court-ordered in many cases regarding visitation or custody issues. If there is enough cooperation between the parties at the mediation, a resolution can be worked out that is acceptable to both parents. That resolution can then be the basis for an agreed case.
For agreed cases, while we can only represent one party, our office can then be hired to draft agreement worked out at mediation and process the paperwork to a final judgement dissolving the marriage. Our experience is that spouses that have an agreed or uncontested divorce generally have less problems after the divorce and with less stress on the children. Spouses that have long, highly contested cases generally continue to fight even after the divorce. These are divorces that never end.
Mediators are experienced family law attorneys and sometimes former judges with decades of experience. The best mediators usually have over 15 years of courtroom experience and are able to give each spouse fairly good idea of what to expect if the matter is litigated.
Once you have a good idea of what a likely court result would be, an agreed case becomes possible. Again, while we only work directly with one spouse, the process can be completed with the use of a single attorney in many instances and in far less time and for far less costs than traditional litigation.
There are local rules of court controlling mediation and there is a list of Court Approved Mediators can be accessed here. NOTE: local rules and the list of approved mediators are subject to change at any time. Consult an attorney before relying on any of the information in this website.