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Family Law Mediation

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where an impartial third party (mediator) assists the disputing parties in resolving conflict and negotiating a settlement. The purpose of mediation is to allow the parties to resolve their differences without court action. The mediator is not a judge and does not make rulings. Instead, the mediator offers suggestions for settlement after listening to both parties.

Research has shown that agreements reached by the parties in mediation generally require fewer subsequent court appearances concerning enforcement, and such agreements are more likely to be voluntarily honored by the parties. Many of our courts require matters such as your final dissolution hearing to be mediated first before the court will entertain your hearing.

The processes may differ, but generally, mediation is a cooperative process for resolving conflict with the assistance of a trained and neutral third-party. A mediator’s role is to facilitate communications, help define issues, and assist the parties in identifying and negotiating appropriate solutions that are mutually agreeable. In many cases, mediation is successful because it allows the parties to present their differences and to craft an agreement in an informal setting that meets both parties’ wishes.

The Cohen Garelick & Glazier family law mediation team has vast mediation experience and has successfully navigated the clients through the process to a successful outcome. The mediator is typically a family law attorney and not a judge. So the parties must attend mediation with their family attorney as the mediator cannot give legal advice. In advance of your mediation, your family law attorney will submit a mediation statement, which is a confidential document tendered to the mediator and is not shared with the opposing side at any time. This statement provides the necessary information for effective mediation, though it is not intended to present all of the information that is to be presented in court.

Many of the Cohen Garelick & Glazier family law attorneys are also mediators themselves and have successfully mediated thousands of cases collectively. One of the initial steps for the mediator is to focus on the needs and interests of the parties. Then, the mediator will have the parties review numerous options. The goal of mediation is to settle your case and walk away with a signed agreement. If you reach an agreement at mediation, that agreement will be binding on the court. Mediation is also an opportunity to avoid significant legal expenses. Likewise, reaching an agreement in mediation negates the risk of trial. In the end, our goal is to identify your goals, maximize priorities, and reach a settlement outside of court.




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