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Family Law Mediators and Arbitrators

Overview

Not all family law disputes are resolved through litigation. Many judges require a divorce matter to first undergo mediation, prior to a trial being held. Mediation is a method used to help the parties develop their own ideas and resolutions rather than having a judge impose a solution on the parties. In the mediation setting, the parties (and their attorneys, if they are represented) choose a neutral, trained mediator to help facilitate their confidential discussions toward resolution of their family law issues. The Varnum Family Law Team includes trained and experienced mediators who can assist in resolving cases short of trial through facilitative mediation or evaluative mediation at any stage of a family law matter. Our mediators use their skills as negotiators and seasoned litigators to diligently and creatively help the parties come to a resolution of their disputes. We are experienced in handling matters that may involve a history of domestic violence as well as mental health issues. Varnum's trained mediators have a proven track record of resolving disputes, thereby avoiding the need to attend trial.

The Varnum Family Law Team can also assist as neutral arbitrators for family law disputes. In divorce arbitration, a neutral, third-party arbitrator who is an expert in divorce law hears both sides of the dispute and determines the best way to settle some, if not all, of the matters between a couple ending their marriage. This may include the division and possession of property, division of retirement accounts and allocation of liabilities. Another important benefit of divorce arbitration over divorce litigation is that the arbitration process can be tailored to meet the needs of the couple—something that will not be done in the court system. Normally, the arbitration process is less formal and more expeditious than a hearing or trial in a courtroom. The parties and the arbitrator will determine the issues submitted, the procedures for the arbitration and whether the decision will be binding and final, or non-binding.

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