It is our belief that over the next five years, many courts will require all parties to a divorce case in the State of Ohio to first sit down and attempt to mediate out issues except in very specific circumstances. Although it is not the case currently, more and more courts are instituting voluntary mediation for involved parties.
The only way to understand what mediation can offer to a party is by explaining what mediation cannot do. Mediation cannot force the other party to agree. A mediator is there to facilitate the parties in reaching an agreement themselves. The mediator is to be neutral and not to make decisions for the participating parties. He or she is merely there to expedite a settlement.
It is strongly recommended that both parties attempt mediation whenever possible. However, it is from our experiences (because of the emotionally charged nature of the termination of a marriage) that the success of mediation depends greatly on the emotional state of both parties. Sometimes at the commencement of a case, mediation may not be appropriate, however, the case will continue. Many times people engage in informal mediation through their attorneys when negotiating a settlement. Sometimes it is done more formally in trying to arrive at dissolution of marriage through collaborative law setting.
At the end of the day the goal is to encourage people
to resolve their differences with as little court
intervention as possible and mediation is one of the tools used to
attain this goal.