Kentucky Divorce and Child Custody Mediation
Earlier today, I was scheduled to Mediate a divorce (post-Decree) case. I represent the Petitioner in that action. Unfortunately, Mediation was rescheduled, but it seems like an opportune topic.
If you are going through a divorce or custody case in Louisville, the Metropolitan area, and in most of Kentucky, you will be required to attend Mediation at least once, unless there has been a finding of domestic violence. Mediation is an “extra-judicial” (outside of the Courtroom in this context) dispute resolution process. Family Law cases were earlier adapters in alternative dispute resolution. As an attorney, it gives you an opportunity to help your client resolve their case and start their new life in a cost effective and less confrontational forum. For the client, you will have the opportunity to be the author (or co-author) of the end of one chapter of your life and the beginning of the next.
The first important step in Mediation is to select a Mediator. Trust your lawyer to know you and what might be helpful to resolve your case. Your lawyer should be able to tell you why your Mediator was selected for your divorce or custody case (although sometimes the answer is “…because that is who the Judge told us to use…”, but that is much more infrequent). I want a Mediator who is experienced either as a Judge handling divorces and custody cases or a practitioner who I know to be competent in a case like yours. Further, I want the Mediator’s approach and personality to be well suited to your needs.
The second important step is to prepare. All too often, counsel and client come into Mediation without giving the Mediator any information or documentation. That is unfair to the Mediator and to the process itself. Make sure your Mediator is equipped to start Mediation with knowledge of the basics of your case and some outline of the issues to be presented.
The third important step is to know when to say “when”. Have a good and confident ideal of what your last position will be. Know when you will no longer be willing to claim authorship of the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next in your life.
Finally, be patient. Mediation in a divorce or custody case (or other family law issue) is stressful. You are negotiating over the most important parts of your life: your children and your finances. If you settle, you will walk away with less time with your children and less wealth than you started the day with. That is the nature of the process. Even if you settle, be willing to be patient. You will wake up the next morning wondering why you settled for the terms you got. Wait a little longer. Most of the time, clients move on from the immediate sense of remorse and into the next chapter of the life of their family.
If your family is going through a change, please feel free to give me a call. Also, please feel free to learn more at jrlloydlaw.com or thelouisvilledivorceattorney.com or thelouisvilledivorcelawyer.com if you are not ready to talk. Thanks for reading.