Monday, September 27, 2010

Divorce Mediation or Trial or Both?

by Wendy Alton

The divorce trial of Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt & his wife Jamie has taken a brief pause so that the couple and their attorneys can go through Mediation today in order to try to resolve and settle their divorce.

What exactly is Mediation?

Mediation in divorce cases is a private session between the couple, their lawyers, and a neutral Mediator, usually a lawyer who has been trained in Mediation, where they freely and openly discuss settlement of all or some of the issues in the divorce. In Michigan, everything that happens in Mediation is confidential, and offers and counter-offers exchanged in Mediation cannot be used in the Divorce trial or further proceedings. The Mediator’s role is to encourage the couple to work out their differences and come to a mutual resolution of all issues. If an agreement is reached, it is reduced to a final writing, a Divorce Judgment, and entered by the Court, thus ending the divorce.

Many divorce cases resolve in Mediation, and it is by far a less expensive alternative than a divorce trial. However, even in the middle of trial, like the McCourt’s trial, Mediation is also a tool to try to resolve issues that remain outstanding and disputed.

You can read the LA Times article here: Frank McCourt attorney's admission sets the stage for a possible settlement

If you are interested in learning more about divorce or family law, please call Wendy Alton at 248-380-9976 or email her at

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