Find Lawyers in Mississippi, United States for Family Law Mediation
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Family Law Mediation - MississippiAbout this Practice Area
Susan L. Steffey was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1987 and to the Mississippi Bar in 1991. She is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Mississippi and Florida and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Before joining Watkins & Eager in 1991, Susan practiced in Tampa, Florida, with the law firm of Sessums & Mason (1987-1990), and served as law clerk to the Honorable Rhesa H. Barksdale, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (1990-19...
Family Law Mediation Definition
Mediation is common in divorce, but also may be used in areas such as pre- or post-nuptial agreements and paternity matters. Couples with low conflict and reasonably good communication may choose mediation as an efficient way to navigate and resolve family law issues. Couples with more significant conflict or who struggle to communicate effectively may find mediation beneficial as a means of problem-solving, reducing conflict, and breaking impasse. Mediators should encourage and model positive communication-both speaking and listening skills. Mediators can help the parties communicate and negotiate more constructively, efficiently, and productively.
Mediators are usually privately selected and retained by the parties, though courts can order parties to participate in mediation. Mediation can occur with parties who have individually retained lawyers or parties who are self-represented. The parties most commonly communicate with one another directly in the presence of the mediator.
Mediation involves an interest-based approach to negotiations. Mediators should have specialized training in dispute resolution approaches and techniques. Mediators use their skills to help open and improve communication between the parties to assist them in resolving issues. Communications in mediation generally cannot be used against a party if there is subsequent litigation, which encourages open communication in the process. Additional professionals may be involved in mediation, such as financial and mental health experts, to assure informed decision-making and assist in exploring settlement options. The goal of family law mediation is to assist the parties in creating their own agreements to meet both their needs as well as the needs of their children.
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