Mediation is required as a step for all divorce and custody cases in Utah. Mediation is required even before the court will hold a hearing on certain matters. It is very important to your divorce or custody case to find a good mediator and, if needed, an attorney to represent you during mediation who is familiar with mediation and can help maximize your mediation results. Felt Family Law & Mediation offers both mediation services and legal representation during mediation in Ogden Utah and surrounding areas.
Jonathan Felt was trained as a mediator first by the Department of Defense to help resolve federal and military employment disputes, then at the Central European University and at Hamline University School of Law focusing on cross-cultural mediation and dispute resolution. Jonathan received additional training through Utah Dispute Resolution in general mediation and domestic (family law) mediation to join the Utah Court Roster of mediators.
Jonathan’s focus in family law gives him expertise in both mediating divorce and custody issues and in representing clients during mediation.
What Is Mediation
In a nutshell, mediation is an alternative to dragging ourselves, family members, and friends through the court process. It’s much faster, saves a ton of money, and generally gets far better results than going to trial.
In mediation, the parties meet with a mediator instead of a judge. The mediator asks questions to understand the issues – but unlike a judge or attorney, the mediator does not make decisions, does not weigh evidence, and does not advise the parties what should or should not happen. The mediator’s primary (often only) role is to help the parties work together to find a resolution that each side can live with.
What To Expect During Mediation
Mediation can follow many different formats. In Utah domestic cases (like Divorce, Custody, etc) mediation most typically follows these steps:
- First, Introductions: the mediator introduces mediation and gets to know the parties and the issues in their case. The parties may be together for this step or in separate rooms.
- Second, Inquiry: the mediator asks each party in turn more probing questions about the issues and how each party would like to resolve each issue. More often than not, the parties are in separate rooms and the mediator shuttles back and forth.
- Third, Negotiation: the mediator assists the parties exchange offers and counter offers and helps the parties find common ground.
Fourth, Documentation: if the parties reach a resolution (which happens more often than not), the mediator helps the parties document their agreement. This may result in a Memorandum of Understanding or Stipulation (both fancy ways of saying “written agreement”). If the parties do not reach a resolution, the mediator documents who attended mediation and that no resolution was reached.
Will I Get What I Want in Mediation
It is actually quite rare that either side in mediation gets everything they want in mediation. Almost always, mediation requires some give and take on both sides. It is important to have a mediation plan to help maximize your mediation results. In high conflict cases, it is vital to have a good attorney with you at mediation to help identify what issues are most important and know which issues are not worth fighting or going to court over.
Can the Mediator File My Case For Me
Jonathan Felt is both a mediator and an attorney. This dual role gives Jonathan the ability to both mediate a case and, where the parties reach a resolution, file the case and draft and file all of the documents needed to finalize the case with the court. This can save mediating parties the stress and headache of trying to draft and file court documents on their own. This service is only available where both parties reach an agreement.
BOOK A MEDIATION NOW
If you are facing divorce or custody case, if both parties would prefer to save a lot of money and headache by settling without going to court, then contact us now. Felt Family Law & Mediation can help you settle outside of court, which can save both parties thousands of dollars in attorney and litigation fees.
Our office is standing by to help book your mediation.