Mediating Family Law; Resolving Your Case on Your Terms or Not.

I will be mediating a family law case, or rather agreeing to mediate a divorce, custody and property division case in the near future.  Mediation is a process whereby the parties agree to meet and attempt to resolve all issues prior to going to trial or without having to go to trial.

In a mediation the parties agree to hiring a third-party, typically another attorney or retired judge, to “hear” their  case.  Now the mediator is NOT the main authority.  In fact, the mediator cannot compel either of the parties to do or agree to anything. The mediator’s role is to point out the strengths and weaknesses of each sides case and to try to find common ground.  Sometimes the mediation is based on reason and logic and sometimes it is based on emotion or just some number someone is trying to reach. Almost anything can be mediated, though a rule of thumb is to not mediate when not prepared factually, legally (research wise), or with an abuser.

Pros:

  • The parties have the ultimate say in the final outcome.
  • Mediator gets to hear “everything,” so a party may have their “say.”
  • It is appeal proof. (unless fraud involved)
  • It can save fees and expenses.
  • It can reveal strengths and weaknesses in a case.
  • It works.  (approx 90% of the time)

Cons:

  • If there is no agreement there is no settlement.
  • Mediator’s opinion is non-binding.
  • It can add a layer of expense.
  • It can be frustrating.
  • It may not work.

Mediation is not a silver bullet to end litigation. It is just another implement in the tool box of resolving and litigating cases.

Is mediation right for you?  Almost any matter can be mediated. Speak to your attorney for more information.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and believes in the mediation process, though it may not be right in every situation.

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Cheetah, Cheetah! (The Cheater Gets Nothing? Not Necessarily.)

Your dirty, no-good, lying, sorry sack of spouse is a CHEATER. Obviously when the Court hears about this that so-and-so will be excoriated and will never show their face again in town. They certainly won’t get anything, right?

In Mississippi, an Affair is a fault ground for divorce. If your spouse is guilty of an affair it will get you a divorce, but don’t count on that fact alone meaning you get everything and they get nothing. It does not mean that he will have to pay you or that the CHEATER cannot get alimony or even custody.

Back in the olden days, some may say the “Good ‘Ol Days”, a lady was barred from receiving alimony if she were guilty of adultery. This is no more, though contributions to the stability and harmony of the marriage are considered and an affair can play a part in what is ultimately received.

Additionally, a spouse having an affair is not barred from being awarded custody. In the olden days a mom that had an affair could be putting her children at risk. Today, a parent’s adultery or morality pursuant to the Albright Custody Factors is considered, but an affair with no adverse impact to the child – will not automatically mean the CHEATER will not get custody.

So, cheat with impunity? No. Just know that cheating ain’t what it used to be, unless it is.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and Cheetahs do NOT change their spots.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.

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Great Dad!

 

Great Dad!

Dads have rights too.

I don’t know who to photo credit this picture, but hat tip to Hunter Brewer for sharing on FB this morning.

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and knows that being a great parent is a full-time job.

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.

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Divorce, Child Custody & Child Support, Alimony, Contempt, Modification, Youth Court, Adoption and Appeals.

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