When we think of the legal system, we often imagine stuffy courtrooms, strict judges and end-all-be-all consequences for those involved. The traditional divorce and custody judgement process can also be costly, time consuming and emotionally taxing for the families who go into them.
Luckily, there’s an alternative. Louisiana law outlines mediation as an alternative legal proceeding which can be entered to resolve many family issues including divorce, child custody, child and spousal support and community property matters. Here’s how
Louisiana law defines mediation as “a procedure in which a mediator facilitates communication between the parties concerning the matters in dispute and explores possible solutions to promote reconciliation, understanding, and settlement.”
A mediator is defined as “a third-party neutral who assists the parties in attempting to reach an agreement and who lacks the authority to impose any particular agreement upon them or to recommend any particular disposition of the case to the court.” This means that while a mediator like Attorney Lorraine McCormick can help you and your ex to create a document outlining your agreement (known as a Memorandum of Understanding), it must be presented to the court for a judge’s signature to become legally binding.
A Memorandum of Understanding is a document outlining a legal agreement reached during the process of mediation. This document can be used to resolve many family legal matters including divorce, child custody, child and spousal support and community property issues.
Sometimes during a traditional court trial, a judge will order mediation to the parties in an effort to have them resolve their disputes themselves. In this situation both parties are required to attempt the mediation process in good faith, but they are not legally required to come to an agreement. You can learn more about the requirements for court ordered mediation here.
Whether your case is just beginning or has been pending for years, the following issues can be resolved through mediation: child custody, visitation, child support, back due child support, spousal support, back due spousal support, mutual injunctions or restraining orders, division of property and allocation of financial assets and debts.