Using a mediator will likely only postpone our conflicts until a later time.

False!  Studies universally demonstrate that couples who face and resolve their divorce issues through mediation have a substantially greater likelihood of voluntarily keeping their agreements. They are more satisfied and experience a reduced likelihood of significant conflict in the future. Mediated agreements bargained for by a divorcing couple or other parents are less likely to result in future impasses leading to litigation.

A couple can use a mediator or lawyers but not both.

False!   Many couples, of course, wish to avoid lawyers in their divorce, and mediation can respect this choice. But other couples choose to retain counsel or to separately meet with an advisory attorney to review generally their unique legal rights and options and to consider the implications of any mediated agreements from that attorney’s perspective. This has great advantages. Informed parties simply make better agreements and good agreements endure the test of time and minimize the likelihood of further disputes and stress on the involved family.

Parties to a mediation still have to hire a lawyer to do all the paperwork.

False!   Certainly, there is often some paperwork that is simply best drafted by a lawyer (this includes highly specialized Orders that transfer certain retirement benefits from one spouse to the other, for example), but most parties are able to complete the ordinary forms required in the divorce process. Although mediators generally believe it inappropriate that they complete forms and sign them on behalf of the parties to a mediation (as this is viewed as practicing law), mediators can provide resources and assistance in your completing the few required forms.

Most importantly, mediators do draft for the parties’ review and signature, the final Agreement containing all of their understandings — for the Court to enter as its continuing final orders in the divorce. (Mediators call this Agreement the “Memorandum of Understanding,” and it is comparable to what lawyers call a “Separation Agreement.”)

Parties to a mediation are required to attend court and their lawyers would be required to be present at that time.   

False!   If a divorcing couple have no children, their Memorandum (referred to above) and the required forms can be mailed in to the Court without the assistance of lawyers and no Court appearance is necessary. If a couple have children, this is still the case if they have lawyers and the lawyers review and sign on each of the parties' behalf. If a couple have children but have chosen to proceed without the assistance of lawyers, at least one of the couple with children is required to appear in Court for a brief hearing (called a "non-contested" hearing). At that brief hearing, the judge or magistrate considers all of their paperwork and agreements.

Accomplished mediators work hard to create documents that demonstrate to the judge or magistrate (who acts as the "gatekeeper" of the process) that a couples' efforts and agreements are thoughtful and consistent with their children's best interests and effect settlements that appear equitable and worthy of the Court's approval.

My relationship with my former spouse is estranged, but courteous, mostly because of this process which focused on our children.
- H.D.

We were allowed to come to our own agreement with Mr. King as guidance. Having to sit in the same room as my spouse helped me deal with the anger and hurt. I feel that using mediation vs. lawyers fighting greatly helped with the lines of communication.

Larry was careful to avoid advising either one of us, and encouraged us to seek individual counsel as we needed. Throughout the process, he encouraged our spirit of cooperation rather than making us adversaries. The mediation process spared us and our children the additional emotional turmoil and the cost that traditional trial lawyers would have imposed on us. We felt, at all times, that we were in control with a lawyer-mediator as our friend and guide through a difficult process.
- R.F.

Our papers were professionally done. Our court process went quickly and smoothly. I had heard lots of horror stories about the divorce process but it went much smoother than expected. My relationship with my former spouse is estranged, but courteous, mostly because of this process which focused on our children.
- H.D.

The court hearing went smoothly, with few questions. Larry had our materials in order and prepared us for what the judge might ask. In all, it took 15 minutes.
- R.F.


The judge was impressed by the agreement put together by Mr. King.
- L.V.

Larry was extremely helpful in letting us know what approaches and language were less likely to trouble a reviewing judge.
- R.F.

The judge was very impressed with Mr. King’s paper work and the way it was prepared. She said it made her job easier.

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