Mediation FAQs for Indiana
1. WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation as defined under the Indiana Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as the confidential process by which a neutral, acting as a mediator, assists parties in reaching a mutually acceptable agreement.
2. WHY CHOOSE MEDIATION?
Mediation provides each party the opportunity to be equally heard. While court proceedings are necessary, in some instances, it is adversarial and provides no opportunity to salvage relationships especially if children are involved. Lastly, you are not rushed to make decisions. In court you are given a 1 – 2 hour timeframe to explain each party’s position. A judge, who knows only what has been said through court filings and attorneys, will make future decisions about you and your family.
3. CAN I GET A DIVORCE WITHOUT ATTENDING COURT?
Yes, however it is at the discretion of the presiding judge if parties are required to attend court to finalize the mediated agreement.
4. DO YOU CONDUCT MEDIATION THROUGH REMOTE TECHNOLOGIES SUCH AS ZOOM?
Yes. We found that remote mediation works very well for our clients. In-person mediation is also available upon request.
5. IF I ALREADY FILED AND RETAINED AN ATTORNEY, CAN I STILL CHOOSE MEDIATION?
Yes. You can still choose to mediate after filing. You may also retain your attorney to represent your interests during mediation negotiations as the Mediator is a neutral party.
6. DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR THE MEDIATION PROCESS?
No. Legal representation is not necessary to successfully mediate. However, you may want legal representation as the Mediator cannot provide legal advice.
7. IS MEDIATION CHEAPER THAN LITIGATION?
Mediation is typically much cheaper than litigation because it is more efficient. Many of the costs and time requirements of litigation such as discovery, depositions, and motions are eliminated.
8. DO I HAVE TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM AS THE OTHER PARTY?
No. However, if communication lines must remain because of children, or love ones, being in the same room may help re-establish new lines of communication. Mediation also provides the opportunity to feel heard by each party and that’s important in arriving at a resolution. The better the understanding, the greater the potential outcome. Use of remote technologies such as ZOOM are also an option.
9. WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MEDIATION?
The Mediator will productively facilitate the conversation/topics as given by the parties. The mediator will continue to keep the discussion moving toward resolution to the extent possible. You will not be asked or expected to discuss the issues of why mediation is necessary. Mediation is an opportunity for discussion and joint decision making that is in the interest of both parties moving forward.
10. HOW LONG DOES MEDIATION TAKE?
It will depend on the complexity of the matters to be mediated. Mediation can be completed within a day while others, most likely dissolution of marriage mediation, can last several days, but not consecutively. Most mediators will work with you to find times that work for both parties. Participation in Mediation does not negate the mandatory 60 day waiting period before dissolution can be granted.
11. CAN MEDIATION BE DONE ON THE WEEKENDS?
Yes, Genesis is willing to provide weekend options as available. However, if you need legal representation you should check with your attorney first about their willingness to provide services on the weekends. Virtual mediation is also an option.
12. WHAT TYPES OF MATTERS ARE EXPECTED TO BE ADDRESSED IN DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE?
Anything can be mediated, but typically division of property/assets, creation of a parenting plan, and child support if applicable.
13. AFTER A DIVORCE IF THERE ARE FUTURE MATTERS, SUCH AS PARENTING PLAN ADJUSTMENTS, DO I HAVE TO COME BACK TO THE SAME MEDIATOR?
No, you may choose to come back or seek another mediator.
14. DO I HAVE THE OPTION OF DISCONTINUING THE MEDIATION PROCESS AT ANY TIME?
You may choose to disengage after completion of two sessions. This signifies to the court that good faith effort was given.
15. WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF FAMILY MEDIATION?
The success and compliance rates for mediated agreements are much better than litigated decisions. However, success in mediation requires both parties to negotiate in good faith.