Laurie M. Wasserman and Steffani L. Langston are trained to serve as family law mediators to help resolve disputes, including disagreements regarding custody and visitation, child support, alimony, financial assets, and division of property.
It is important to know that mediation is a voluntary, confidential process. In mediation, the mediator facilitates a discussion to help reach a solution that meets the family's needs. If an agreement is reached, that agreement will be reduced to writing and will be reviewed by the parties and their lawyers. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the mediator is prohibited from testifying as to what was said during mediation. The mediator’s notes also cannot be submitted as evidence.
Mediators cannot give legal advice to any party. Mediators can; however, tell the parties what the law says. This is why is it recommended that both parties have their own lawyers.
There are many benefits to mediation. Mediation can save time and money by getting the dispute resolved without having to go to court. While you can attend mediation with lawyers, you are not required to do so. You will, however; be asked to review any written agreement reached in mediation with your own lawyer prior to signing.
Since the mediator cannot be subpoenaed to testify in Court, it gives parties the ability to take positions and make compromises that they may not otherwise take during litigation in the hopes of getting an issue resolved. Go to mediation prepared to listen, compromise, and make progress resolving disputes.
Disclosure is an important part of mediation. If financial issues are being discussed, each side may be asked to share information regarding income, assets, debts, and monthly expenses. A helpful way to prepare for mediation is for each participant to work on assembling this information.
Another benefit to mediation is that it provides an opportunity to address what is important to you and your family. Many people prefer mediation to litigation because mediation allows you to control the outcome of your dispute. A mediated agreement can be much more detailed and creative than a court order.
Finally, studies have shown that many people who use mediation do not return to court as often as those who litigate. Mediation gives people the choices, control, and voice they often do not get in court proceedings.
Laurie M. Wasserman and Steffani L. Langston are certified in family law mediation. Each mediation session lasts approximately 2 hours and, depending on the issues, parties may need multiple sessions to reach a full agreement. For mediation services in Baltimore and Towson, Maryland, contact Wasserman Family Law to resolve your dispute in an amicable manner.