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Often times, prospective clients come to me and ask whether they can attend mediation in lieu of filing for divorce or APR. The answer is that mediation is a required step in virtually any domestic relations case, it does not replace the need to file your case with the court. There are exceptions to the mediation requirement, such as resolving the case early on before mediation would normally be held, however, absent such an exception, courts are extremely strict when it comes to the mediation requirement.
This is because most cases resolve themselves during the mediation process and this is a good thing as studies have demonstrated that parents and their children are happier when they are following an agreement that they created, rather than an order that was handed down by the court. Furthermore, resolving your case in mediation greatly reduces the cost of litigation.
Given the benefits of mediation, it is important to choose a skilled mediator. A good mediator is not someone who simply relays offers back and forth, but rather someone who thinks outside the box and finds avenues for resolution. With over 25 years of experience in family law, Robert Pomper
Robert Pomper: $