Mediators Brought in To Assist With Justice Proceedings
Monday, February, 17, 2014
More judges around the country are seeing the benefits provided by using mediation as an alternative to litigation. Parties have the option to enter in voluntary mediation at any point, but some judges are using mediation as a pre-emptive way to deal with a glut of legal issues. This is certainly true in Oklahoma, where Muskogee County District Judge Thomas Alford recently recommended that mediators be used more often. When legal disputes are sent to mediation first, there’s a chance they might be resolved entirely outside of the courtroom satisfactorily.
In Muskogee County, judges want to encourage parties who are thinking about becoming mediators, too. Those who completed a Family Mediation Course will leave the program with a certificate in order to help in divorce and other family law issues. Alford says that mediation can be very successful in family court issues, like divorce and termination of parental rights.
Judges across Oklahoma believe that there are many cases that could benefit from private or public mediation services. Alford says that divorcing couples often choose the mediator themselves, which allows them to play a bigger role in what their own divorce looks like. Rather than presenting one person’s version of events, a mediator is a third-party neutral who reviews the relevant facts and helps facilitate conversation between two parties to get to a final agreement. When parties are committed to resolution, mediation can be expedient and effective in family law issues, taking some of the financial pressure off and relieving stress on court dockets.