Katie Arthurs is jointly hired as a mediator to facilitate confidential discussions and problem-solve solutions arising from divorce, parenting conflicts, and other family issues.  She guides participants through the process to exchange financial information, explore options, and reach agreeable resolutions.  She understands both individual and collective needs, and applies her years of experience to help participants achieve defined goals and objectives.  The mediation process minimizes conflict, and allows the couple to achieve a dissolution of marriage (or uncontested divorce) without the detrimental effects of court litigation.

What is mediation?

Mediation is a structured and interactive process where a neutral third-party (Katie Arthurs) works with the participants to resolve their case through constructive discussions, which can entail creative thinking and problem solving.  The process focuses on interests and needs rather than positions.  The parties actively participate in discussions with the mediator, which can be joint or separate, to find optimal solutions to the identified issues.  The process is confidential, where discussions and information cannot be used in court litigation. Mediation is a hands-on approach to collaboratively deal with issues and negotiate a settlement. 

Why is mediation beneficial?

  • Confidential
  • Avoids the public display of private problems
  • Control over the outcome
  • Out-of-the-box options & solutions
  • Big-picture approach
  • Lasting agreements
  • Minimize future conflict
  • Alternative to litigation
  • Less expensive, financially & emotionally
  • Control over the timetable
  • Less stressful
  • Improved communication skills
  • Useful for temporary arrangements

How much does mediation cost?

The parties equally share the cost unless they agree otherwise. Mediation is typically scheduled for 2-hour sessions. Depending on the complexity of issues involved, mediation may take 2-5 sessions to complete. Since each case is unique, an agenda is discussed prior to the first session, including the estimated time and cost. Mediation is a cost-effective and less expensive alternative to divorce.

What issues can be mediated in divorce?

Mediation can be used in pre-divorce or post-divorce matters.  The parties can enter into mediation at any time during the divorce process regardless of whether the parties are in-court or out-of-court.  Mediation can be used to negotiate the entire case or limited issues, such as temporary support, parenting plans, or other parenting disputes. It can also be used as a dispute resolution mechanism to address post-divorce parenting issues to avoid court filings.

Although Katie Arthurs is a practicing family law attorney, she cannot provide legal advice to either or both parties during the mediation process.  Both parties have the right to consult with an attorney regarding Ohio law and the equitable nature of the agreements.  Katie encourages each participant to retain legal counsel in an active or consultation capacity to obtain legal advice during the mediation process and to draft the final documents to be filed with the court.

What other information would be helpful in mediation? 

Katie encourages participants to consult with other professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, bankers, financial planners, insurance agents, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents on their respective areas of expertise.  These professionals can provide valuable knowledge on budgets; determining possible tax consequences; consolidating debts; finding health, automobile, and homeowner’s insurance; investing stocks, retirement benefits, and other monies; selling real estate; and transferring assets.  These individuals can provide useful guidance and services during and after the mediation process.

Can attorneys attend mediation?

Yes, so long as both parties are represented and both attorneys will attend. Certain matters can benefit from the attendance of legal counsel to provide advice in real time as the issues are being discussed and negotiated. Mediation can also be a tool to resolve high-conflict cases in litigation that desire finality and the avoidance of trial.

How to start the mediation process?

If interested in mediation, either party may reach out to Northeast Ohio Family Law and Mediation by phone or email to schedule an informational conference call. The initial conference call will include gathering preliminary information about your matter, discussing the process and options, and planning the agenda, timeframe, and cost.

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