Mediation can be less expensive, and certainly less stressful, than going to court to resolve your divorce, child custody, parenting time, or support case.
Attorney Mike Toburen serves as a mediator for family law cases in Kent County and throughout West Michigan. Mike is an experienced family law attorney with a keen understanding of the law, but as importantly, a sense of compassion and understanding that is necessary to be an effective mediator.
The benefits of mediation are numerous:
- Decide for yourself how to resolve your family law case – instead of allowing a judge to decide. Family Law Mediation can occur with or without attorneys. It can also take place during a case, or even before a case is filed. The one constant with mediation is that the parties have the opportunity - with the help of a good mediator - to resolve their issues without allowing a judge to decide for them.
- Mediation is less expensive than litigation. Attorney Mike Toburen schedules mediation sessions for three hours at a time. Some cases are resolved in one three-hour session – or even less. Other times, the parties may not resolve all their issues at the first session, so a second or third session may be necessary. Even if more than one mediation session is necessary, the cost of mediation is much less than litigation. Whereas many cases can be resolved through one mediation session, litigation is expensive due to the hours spent – usually by an attorney – preparing witnesses, exhibits, discovery, and for the hearing or trial itself.
- Mediation is Confidential. Whereas a hearing is open to the public (and now may be broadcast on YouTube), mediation is confidential. The parties – and the mediator – agree before mediation begins that anything said at mediation is confidential. This allows both parties the freedom to discuss any issues that need to be resolved without worrying that the mediator will be called as a witness at a later hearing. If the parties do reach an agreement at mediation – on some or all of their issues – the mediator will draft the agreement and both parties will sign the agreement, but other than that agreement, anything said at mediation is confidential.
- An Agreement reached at Mediation is binding. As mentioned above, if the parties reach an agreement at mediation, that agreement will be drafted and signed by both parties during the mediation session. That signed mediation agreement is considered binding -meaning that neither party can back out of the agreement at a later date.