Mediation Attorneys in Lee's Summit, MO
Content Reviewed by Kristin Siegel, JD | Attorney at Law
When a family law matter is contested, mediation can be an efficient and cost-effective alternative to a trial. At Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC, our family law attorneys are highly skilled mediators who have assisted in hundreds of cases throughout the Kansas City metro. Serving Jackson, Clay, Cass, Platte, Johnson, Lafayette County, and other surrounding counties, our skilled mediation lawyers can help you work towards a resolution by ensuring that both parties have an opportunity to be heard and proposing compromises that you may not have previously considered.
When you need a knowledgeable family law attorney or an experienced mediation lawyer, our Lee’s Summit based law firm provides you with a team who is dedicated to resolving your legal issue as quickly and easily as possible. We offer personalized attention, decades of experience, and an understanding of the emotional toll that such issues can take.
An Overview of Mediation Law in Missouri
Mediation in Missouri is defined as a process in which a neutral third party facilitates communications between the parties to promote settlement. Mediation attorneys do not offer legal advice or make decisions on the dispute. Mediation is often mandatory, but the parties may voluntarily mediate their disputes without a court order. Mediation can be customized to address your specific dispute, whether it concerns the division of assets, child custody and parenting time, child support, and spousal maintenance, or any combination. Most importantly, a mediation is always neutral as lawyers are not permitted (mediator excluded) in the room during a settlement.
Steps of the Mediation Process
While less formal than a court trial or arbitration, the mediation process does involve multiple, distinct stages designed to achieve results. The six formal stages of mediation include the following:
- Introductory Remarks – The mediator introduces everyone and explains the rules and goals of the meditation.
- Disputants’ Opening Statements – Each involved party describes the dispute and its consequences.
- Joint Discussion – The parties are encouraged to respond directly to the opening statements in an attempt to further define the issues.
- Private Caucuses – Each party meets privately with the mediator to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each position and to exchange offers.
- Joint Negotiation – Occasionally, the mediator will bring both parties back together to negotiate directly.
- Reaching an Agreement – Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will devise a written summary of the agreement and send the agreement to the attorneys.
Mediation vs. Collaborative Law
In addition to mediation, you may also wish to explore the collaborative law process. Collaborative law is another alternative to the adversarial process offered by the court system. In collaborative law cases, both parties agree to keep their dispute out of the courtroom and each party is represented by a specially qualified family law attorney. The collaborative law process may also involve the assistance of other professionals, including counselors and financial specialists.
In both mediation and a collaborative law approach, the goal is to reach a fair resolution that is amicable for both parties. At Leonard Rodarte Siegel, our family law attorneys have been trained in collaborative law and can assist you in resolving your family law dispute.
How is Mediation Different than a Collaborative Law Approach?
For most, trials and litigation are far too expensive and time consuming on top of the stress that accompanies the changes one is going through. Mediation can significantly lower the expenses of obtaining a dissolution, resolving child custody or other family law disputes. Family law mediation can enable you and your spouse to maintain a working relationship after a divorce agreement is reached. The goal of mediation is to reach positive outcomes for all parties involved without involving the courts or additional lawyers.
In collaborative law, and any court proceedings, both parties will hire a lawyer for negotiations, while in mediation neither party is permitted a lawyer except for beginning stages. In collaborative law, there is a much lengthier discovery process to ensure that all property and assets are disclosed and can be negotiated. Another difference can be the timing of when either mediation or a collaborative approach occurs. Typically, mediation will either be mandated or agreed upon later in a family law process.
FAQ for the Mediation Process in Missouri
Contact Our Family Law Attorneys for a Mediation Consultation
At Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC, our mediation attorneys have assisted many clients with mediation throughout Lee’s Summit and the Kansas City metro area. Each mediation session varies in complexity and our family law attorneys offer services in handling divorce mediation, child custody mediation, child support mediation, and other complex situations that arise. Our mediation lawyers will review your situation to ensure it is appropriate for mediation and that we handle it in a timely and affordable manner. Let our Missouri meditation lawyers at Leonard Rodarte Siegel LLC work for you. To schedule a mediation consultation, contact us today.