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COLLABORATIVE LAW AND MEDIATION

COLLABORATIVE LAW AND MEDIATION

Collaboration and mediation are legal options that have proven to be the most satisfactory for many people seeking fairness for each family member when dissolving a marriage.

Persons experiencing divorce, separation, and other family law issues must decide what divorce process they will use before they can begin the hard work of planning for their family’s future, which is especially important where children are involved.

Divorcing couples have a variety of methods from which to choose that include a mediation or mediated settlement. Mediation is only one of several options available but is the method found most satisfactory by many people seeking a fair resolution for each family member and especially where the couple will have reason to need to interact with one another after the separation or divorce, through a common circle of family, friends and of course, where the couple has children of any age.

Those seeking divorce can seek the assistance of a qualified professional skilled in a variety of divorce and separation methods. They include:

  1. Mediation
  2. Collaboration
  3. Negotiation
  4. Litigation

Each method has its strengths and weaknesses, and not all attorneys are skilled in all methods. At Bousquet Holstein PLLC, we are able to offer you the assistance of skilled professionals using any method of divorce or separation that you may choose.

Mediation is a method of divorce that has been considered the “friendly divorce“. It allows for the maximum participation by the parties in forging their own agreement, with a  minimum of outside influence or pressure in order to achieve an agreement that is fair for the family. In mediation, the mediator provides information and structure to assist the couple, no matter what their level of knowledge or education may be with respect to divorce, in resolving all issues in a way that is not just legally sufficient, but also best for the family.

A skilled mediator will be expert in the law, and will be able to assist the parties in creative problem solving. He or she will bring to the mediation skills that include unique problem solving abilities, coupled with a sense of compassion and caring, and have an understanding of both the legal complexities and emotional challenges often seen when couples divide. A mediator weak in either area, either experience in the law or lacking in understanding of the complex emotional family issues to be resolved, will be less prepared to assist in mediation.

In mediation, one negotiates the agreement without the direct assistance or advocacy of an attorney. Once the mediator has guided the couple through a draft agreement, typically that agreement is then reviewed by attorneys who serve as advocates and counselors in evaluating and advising each individual on the adequacy and sufficiency of the legal document contemplated.

At Bousquet Holstein PLLC attorney Steven A. Paquette provides such mediation services. Steve has assisted hundreds of couples seeking divorce or separation, and is skilled in mediation, collaborative law, and the other methods set forth below. He is an attorney by profession, with decades of practical experience, and has assisted many couples in their collaborating to seek an agreement that feels fair and is economically feasible. Steve is used to working with extremely complex matters involving businesses, pensions, tax issues, real estate problems and the like, and is equally comfortable managing mediations involving persons of more typical means and challenges.

Mediation is not for everyone. But if mediation may be for you, we invite you to contact Steve at the number below for a free confidential consultation.

Other methods of divorce besides mediation include collaborative law, negotiation and litigation.

Under a collaborative law arrangement, the parties seek to have active involvement in the negotiation of their divorce and separation, but rather than mediating it without legal counsel, they opt to secure the assistance of specially trained attorneys to help them achieve a fair and legally sufficient result. The costs are higher than for mediation because two attorneys and a third party, known as a facilitator, are involved, but the end result is the same: an agreement, satisfactory to the parties, which resolves all matters necessary for divorce or separation. The difference is that the attorneys are involved in “real time” rather than at the end of the mediation. Steve Paquette has served as President of the Central New York Collaborative Law Group and is skilled and experienced in this method of divorce and separation.

Negotiation and litigation are more traditional methods of resolving divorce and separation than mediation or collaborative law. Steve Paquette has operated in this arena and has helped countless clients navigate the negotiation of a settlement arranged through attorneys, or through representation in a litigated matter in the court system.

Any method of divorce will require the parties to resolve all issues relating to child custody and parenting plan; child support, maintenance (alimony); and the equitable distribution of marital assets and debts. Often times such matters include the needs to resolve questions involving real estate law, tax law, estate law, pension and retirement law, and occasionally issues involving bankruptcy, criminal law, and other matters. Steve Paquette is uniquely qualified to assist you with any issue that may arise during your divorcing process.

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