As an experienced Family Law Attorney in Grand Rapids, I have represented clients in Kent County and throughout West Michigan. My experience has taught me that litigation is stressful and expensive. Litigation also causes anger and resentment between parties that can linger for years. These issues can be devastating when minor children are involved.
When the focus is litigation between parties, it is almost impossible for parties to work constructively to resolve their case.
Mediation is an alternative to litigation that allows parties to resolve their issues without litigation. Mediation also allows parties to make their own decisions instead of having a judge make those decisions.
A Mediator does not represent either party and is therefore an impartial third-party. With a Mediator’s help, parties work together to reach a resolution that works for both parties. Mediation is confidential, non-confrontational, and usually less expensive than litigation. Any agreement reached at Mediation is binding, which makes it difficult for either party to back out of the agreement at a later date.
As a Mediator who is also a Family Law Attorney, I offer a wealth of experience that helps parties resolve their issues fairly and in a way that benefits both parties and any minor children of the parties. I am naturally empathetic and compassionate. I help guide parties through a difficult and stressful time to reach a resolution that works for everyone involved, especially the minor children.
The first step in Mediation is often the most difficult – choosing Mediation to resolve your family law case. I offer a free consultation for parties that want to learn more about the benefits of Mediation.
In the course of my family law practice, I see on a weekly basis how devastating divorce can be to both parties and their families, often because of the contentious nature of litigation and the lack of privacy in court proceedings.
This is particularly true in West Michigan, where we have a healthy regard for privacy and often choose to think the best of others.
That’s why I’m always searching for new developments in the field of law to alleviate the pain caused by “the airing of dirty laundry” and the hard feelings that often result from contested proceedings.
Emily agreed during the divorce proceedings to share custody of their two children with her ex-husband Bob, but she began to regret her decision after seeing the state of the kids when they stayed at his house every other weekend per the divorce decree.
When she picked them up on Sunday night, the children generally were tired, cranky, unkempt and behind on their homework. Bob would let them eat junk food, stay up late watching movies or playing video games, and sleep in late the next day. The kids quickly were beginning to label her as the “unfun” parent who was overly strict, made them do chores and pursue good grades in school.
As I celebrated my fifth-year anniversary in the practice of law recently, the occasion caused me to reflect on what may be ahead for me as well as what has already transpired. And if the past five years are any measure, then I count myself as one lucky guy when I look to the future.
One accomplishment that I am particularly proud of is that I’m writing this column at all.