Mediation and Conciliation


Mediation is an alternative to litigation. It is a process in which an impartial third party facilitates communication and negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making by the parties to the dispute. Many family law matters can be resolved through mediation. Our office can assist with an initial determination as to whether your case is appropriate for this process.

Our mediators are trained to help you with reaching agreement through discussion and facilitated negotiation. There are many advantages to the mediation process versus litigation. First, the parties are the sole decision makers resulting in a resolution unique to the particular circumstances of the case. Second, after mediation, you are able to move forward amicably and preserve your relationship so that you can continue to effectively communicate with each other as future issues arise. Third, you avoid the high financial costs of litigation.

Mediation involves a collaborative process with the mediator and the parties. You will schedule and meet with the mediator in private one or two hour sessions. As many sessions can be scheduled as are necessary to resolve the contested issues. The process is voluntary and you can choose to withdraw from it at any time. The mediator is a neutral party and can provide legal information to the parties, but not legal advice.

Once an agreement is reached, our experienced family law mediators will draft all documents necessary to finalize the divorce or other matter. They will draft an agreement which concisely expresses the terms reached by the parties and the considerations weighed in reaching resolution.

Our mediators are very experienced in all aspects of family law and will assist you with a resolution that anticipates future issues and minimizes the necessity of any later court appearances. You will leave the process with an agreement that is essentially a product of your own efforts and tailored to your individual needs and circumstances.

The following are examples of issues that can be addressed and resolved through mediation:

  • Division of Marital Assets
  • Division of Assets Between Life Partners
  • Legal and Physical Custody of Children
  • Parenting Plans
  • Child Support
  • Alimony
  • College Expenses
  • Health and Life Insurance
  • Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Equity Matters
Conciliation is another form of a negotiated settlement which involves evaluation and recommendations made by the Conciliator. Some parties choose this process in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s position as well as receive legal information and assessment regarding likely outcomes in connection with a particular issue. The Conciliator still acts as a neutral third party; however, in this process, the Conciliator provides a legal analysis of all claims based upon extensive experience in the field of family law. The parties control the outcome and still have the benefit of avoiding high litigation costs. Our attorneys have the skills necessary to assist with navigation of the conciliation process through settlement.
Attorney Sweet has over 25 years of experience that she draws upon to help parties resolve conflicts without the need for litigation.