Las Vegas Divorce Mediation
Spouses going through divorce proceedings in Las Vegas are often surprised to learn how strongly the legal system encourages reaching an agreement outside of family court. Conducting a full trial and having the judge decide the matter is typically the last resort, costing the divorcing spouses involved more time, stress, and money. Therefore family judges presiding over Las Vegas divorce matters routinely encourage spouses to reach an agreement either by settlement negotiations through their respective Las Vegas divorce attorneys, or through mediation. In divorce matters involving child custody disputes, the family court actually requires the parents to enter mediation under Nevada State law.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Typically, mediation is an optional alternative for divorcing spouses to resolve their disputes efficiently and cost-effectively. The parties can enter mediation before filing for divorce in an effort to resolve all issues and then file for divorce with a settlement agreement in place. Divorcing spouses can also choose to enter mediation after a divorce proceeding has begun.
In an ideal world, both parties, with the counsel of their Las Vegas divorce lawyers, would reach a complete agreement on all issues and the divorce matter would be settled. Divorce attorneys for both spouses would then incorporate the settlement terms into the final decree of divorce, resolving all issues. In fact, most divorce cases eventually resolve this way and only a small fraction of divorce cases go to trial. Mediation is another tool to encourage divorcing spouses to reach a settlement agreement.
Mediation is a form of informal, non-binding negotiations overseen by a neutral mediator. Divorcing couples often choose to go through mediation rather than a formal court process in order to avoid the time, money, and hassle of court proceedings. The mediator’s role is that of a settlement facilitator. They are not a judge and cannot make a legally binding determination on any issue.
Instead, the mediator is there to help the divorcing spouses find common ground and resolve disputes on any issues that require legal determination, including child support, child custody and visitation, alimony, and property division.
When is Mediation Required in Las Vegas?
Nevada law, however, requires mediation under certain circumstances. Parents proceeding in Clark County Family Court must undergo mediation at the Family Mediation Center (FMC) when they are unable to agree on child custody and/or visitation rights. The case cannot proceed if one or both parents refuse to participate in FMC child related mediation, and refusal to do so can subject a party to court penalties. There are exceptions to mandatory attendance, such as if one parent lives out of state, or if there are issues with abuse or domestic violence.
The mediation at FMC addresses child custody and visitation. The mediator will attempt to have the parents settle on a custody agreement and visitation schedule, based on what is in the best interests of the children. If successful, the mediator will draw up a full or partial parenting agreement based on what the parents can agree upon. It’s important to note that the parents attend FMC mediation without legal representation. Divorce lawyers are not part of this form of mediation. If some child related issues remain unresolved, the Las Vegas divorce attorneys for both parents will then find other avenues to resolve the dispute.
Help With Your Las Vegas Divorce Mediation
Our experienced divorce attorneys in Las Vegas offer two forms of mediation assistance. They represent clients at mediation sessions with an independent divorce mediator, or they act as mediator for both divorcing spouses. In either instance, they are ready to provide exceptional legal services for your divorce mediation. Seasoned divorce attorneys Jennifer V. Abrams and Vincent Mayo both offer courtesy phone consultations at no charge. Call our offices at 702-222-4021 to speak with one of them about your important divorce issues.
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