Divorce and child custody disputes are undeniably some of the most challenging and emotionally taxing experiences that individuals and families can face. Mediation attempts to amicably achieve a resolution to disputes without the necessity of a trial. This page titled Mediation for Divorce or Child Custody in Jefferson City, Missouri attempts to provide more information about the mediation process.
A divorce mediation or child custody mediation is a confidential process in which a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps divorcing couples or parents with children, communicate, negotiate and make informed decisions about a divorce settlement or a child custody agreement. It empowers couples and parents to take control of their futures and make decisions that will shape the next chapters of their lives. Through open communication and the guidance of a skilled mediator, spouses and parents can work together to find a common ground, address their concerns, and ultimately reach a fair and mutually satisfactory settlement. Mediation is not designed to be adversarial, but instead to empower couples to retain control over their outcomes and ideally, to foster open communication. The mediation process focuses on fostering collaboration and prioritizing the best interest of all parties involved, especially when children are part of the equation. It is a path to closure, allowing individuals to transition to the next chapters of their lives.
Do you want to go to court? If the answer is no, mediation may be an option. A divorce mediation or a child custody mediation provides divorcing couples or parents with a child in common an opportunity to resolve their disagreements without a trial. The job of the mediator is to assist the parents or spouses to attempt to amicably reach a resolution to the disputed issues. This also allows divorcing spouses or parents to have more control over the outcome as opposed to a trial where the ultimate outcome is decided by a judge. It’s generally too late to negotiate a different outcome after the entry of a judgment.
Mediation is less formal than proceeding to trial. A person does not need to know the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure, Missouri Local Court Rules or the Rules of Evidence to participate in a mediation. Mediation may also help maintain amicable relationships, which is important when children are involved. Trial can have the opposite effect and create hard feelings.
Scott Hamblin and his team understand that divorce and child custody are deeply personal matters. We are here to facilitate a process that respects your unique circumstances and aspirations. Scott Hamblin is an experienced divorce lawyer and child custody lawyer in Jefferson City, Missouri. From his office in Jefferson City, Scott Hamblin represents individuals and families throughout central Missouri. Scott is an experienced trial lawyer with mediation experience. Scott Hamblin can answer your questions and guide you through your challenging situation.
Scott Hamblin is familiar with mediators. He knows the more experienced mediators, which can make a difference in helping to reach a resolution. Participating in mediation does not mean that you show up unprepared. Preparing for mediation is similar to preparing for trial. Scott Hamblin, as a divorce lawyer and child custody lawyer is your advocate, even in mediation. Some mediators may prefer not to involve lawyers. This is generally true of court-ordered mediations. But your divorce lawyer or child custody lawyer can still prepare you for the mediation.
Scott Hamblin is an experienced divorce lawyer and child custody lawyer. His years of experience aid him in determining whether mediation may be right for your case. Many cases are not appropriate for mediation. Mediation is not free. Scott Hamblin is financially conscientious when it comes to incurring expenses in litigation, including expenses associated with mediation.
How much does divorce mediation or child custody mediation cost in Jefferson City, Missouri? The expense of mediation is similar throughout central Missouri, but the expense of mediation does vary depending on the case. Mediators generally charge by the hour for their time. A mediator may incur time preparing for the mediation, conducting the mediations, and even drafting a written settlement agreement. As such, mediation can be expensive. Most mediators require an upfront fee deposit. Sometimes the cost of mediation may be paid by one side. On other occasions, the expense of mediation may be divided between the parents or spouses.
How much mediation will cost is often determined by how much time is necessary to discuss and resolve the issues. The cost depends on the complexity of the divorce or child custody case. The more assets that are involved in a divorce, such as business, corporations, investments, and real estate holdings, the more time is necessary to work through issues. Child custody cases can be complicated for different reasons. Mediation may not be suitable in emotionally charged situations such as child abuse, whether emotional, physical, or sexual abuse has occurred. A child’s health condition, including services and treatments can complicate mediation. One parent may have a significant other, and the child’s relationship with that significant other may be a source of dispute. Sometimes, the reasonable or unreasonableness of the individuals involved can necessitate more time.
Not all mediators charge the same rate for their services. More experienced mediators, including former judges, may charge more for their time. Having an experienced mediator is important and may be worth the extra money.
What is the difference between court-ordered mediation and voluntary mediation in Jefferson City, Missouri? Missouri allows any judge to order parties to participate in mediation. In situations where a court has ordered mediation, a lawsuit has already been filed. Some circuit courts in Missouri have adopted local court rules that require mediation for divorcing couples and require mediation for parents in child custody cases. The courts may order certain types of mediation, such as the MARCH mediation program. Other times a court may allow the parties to select a mediator, if they can agree. Court ordered mediation usually only lasts a couple hours.
Voluntary mediation can occur without any court involvement and without a court order. Voluntarily mediation can even occur before a court case is filed. There is no rule that states you must file a court case before proceeding with mediation. Whether there is enough information to conduct mediation before filing a divorce case may be a consideration.
What is the process for divorce mediation or child custody mediation in Jefferson City, Missouri? The mediation will be scheduled after the mediator has been selected by the parties or ordered by the court. The following is general information about the mediation process.
1. Initial Meeting: The mediation begins with the introduction of the mediator and the parties. The mediator will discuss the goals and the guidelines for the mediation.
2. Identifying Issues: The mediator helps identify the issues that need to be resolved such as asset division, child custody, maintenance, and more. If lawyers are present, the mediation may ask for a summary of the issues from the lawyers unless that information was previously provided.
3. Open Communication: Both parents or spouses will have the opportunity to express their concerns, interests and preferences in a controlled and respectful environment.
4. Negotiation: The mediator facilitates negotiations, providing information and options to help reach a mutually agreeable solution.
5. Drafting the Agreement: Once agreements are reached, a mediator may help draft an agreement that reflects the discussion.
What are some misconceptions about divorce mediation or child custody mediation? The following are a few examples.
1. I Will Get a Better Result at Trial than Mediation. Mediation is not a solution to every dispute. Mediation certainly does not guarantee a better result than trial. However, mediation will allow a person to have more control over the outcome than a trial. But so will a settlement. In a trial, the judge listens to the evidence and then decides the outcome. A judge may side with one party or neither party. A judge may issue a ruling that is entirely repugnant. Mediation allows for a compromise. Mediation is helpful where the parties have already discussed settlement but may benefit from the input of an experienced mediator. Trial is not about compromise. Trial is about advocating what you want rather than compromise.
2. I Cannot Proceed With Mediation Because My Spouse Won’t Talk to Me. Mediation works best when both parties are willing to cooperate and communicate openly. However, some circuit courts require mandatory mediation, which requires the participation of spouses and parents. An experienced mediator may be of some assistance in these instances if the spouses are willing to discuss a resolution, even if the idea of seeing the other spouse is unpleasant. A resolution can also be achieved by a settlement, even without mediation. This is where an experienced lawyer recognizes your case may be more appropriate for settlement without mediation.
3. Mediation Is Only For People Who Are Trying to Reconcile Their Marriage. Mediation is not marriage counseling. Mediation is a dispute resolution process where the mediator assists divorcing spouses or parents with a child in common to resolve their disagreement without the necessity of litigation or further litigation.
4. Mediation Can Provide My Lawyer With Information to Use at Trial. Mediation is a dispute resolution program. The purpose of mediation is to avoid trial. Mediation is not a tool to prepare for a trial. The discussions that occur in mediation are confidential. Mediation is treated like a settlement negotiation which means what is discussed in mediation cannot be used at trial.
5. Mediation Will Save Me Money. Mediation can save divorcing couples or parents money, but so can settlement negotiations without the expense of mediation. Mediation is most effective when the parents or spouses have chosen to mediate in good faith with the goal of achieving a resolution. Otherwise, mediation may be one more litigation expense because if the parties do not reach an agreement in mediation, then they will have paid for the mediation and will now additionally pay for trial preparation, trial, and post-trial work.
Divorce mediation and child custody mediation are not appropriate or suitable for every situation. Mediation works best when both parties are willing to cooperate and communicate openly. Complex legal issues or cases involving domestic violence may not be appropriate for mediation. Divorce mediation offers a constructive alternative to a divorce trial or child custody trial. It can help couples part ways amicably, reduce emotional stress, and may save time and money.
If you are considering a divorce, or if you have a child custody dispute, contact Scott Hamblin to explore mediation as a step toward a more peaceful resolution. Scott Hamblin is an experienced divorce lawyer and child custody lawyer in Jefferson City, Missouri. From his office in Jefferson City, Scott Hamblin represents individuals and families throughout central Missouri. Scott is an experienced trial lawyer with mediation experience. Scott Hamblin can answer your questions and guide you through your challenging situation.
A mother was seeking sole custody of her children following a divorce. The father refused to cooperate, leaving the client in a difficult situation as she felt as though her children didn’t have a voice. Scott recognized her need for an advocate and carefully listened to the children’s wishes, which conclusively helped the client achieve sole custody of her children and protected their best interests.
Scott assisted a defendant in a particularly challenging divorce case in which the other spouse was not cooperating. Scott was able to help the client avoid court through an aggressive legal approach to resolve all outstanding disagreements while maintaining the client’s long-term needs.
A grandparent sought visitation rights to his grandchild after the parent tried to block him. Scott takes grandparents’ rights very seriously, and so he devised a strategy to help the grandparent set a visitation schedule. Scott developed a strategy to show that the child’s best interests were fulfilled through the grandparent’s ability to visit the child, helping push the case towards a resolution in the client’s favor.
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Scott recently provided outstanding representation for my divorce. He was well-prepared throughout the course of the litigation and trial, resulting in a very favorable outcome for me. Scott is a very bright attorney who takes pride in his work, and it shows. He is truly in a league of his own.
Scott is a phenomenal attorney, no sugar-coating straightforward and to the point. As an older man I found myself in a custody case, and had little hope of any outcomes in my favor. This guy knows his law and his business, and is about it. His personality is soothing and his office is always on…
Scott is the best attorney, hands down! My husband had a fairly difficult case, he had little hope that he’d be able to receive anything he was asking for and Scott helped him achieve everything, very quickly. He’s very professional, compassionate and understanding and works hard to help you achieve the best possible outcome. We…
Scott came highly recommended by an attorney friend of mine after I received an unfavorable outcome working with a different lawyer in the area. Scott was smart, pleasant to work with, and achieved the best possible outcome for me. I only wish I would have used him sooner.
We had a very unique case. It was confusing and complicated. Scott stepped in, helped and guided us on our journey. He was knowledgeable, professional and very honest with us. I highly recommend him if you are put in a circumstance where you need an attorney. His integrity is amazing. The entire firm was wonderful…
Scott Hamblin is reliable, trustworthy, very professional, and hardworking. I highly recommend him for any of your lawyer needs.
I have been working with Mr. Hamblin for almost one and a half years and consider him to be one of the finest Lawyers I have ever done business with. Mr. Hamblin’s understanding of Missouri law is to say the least encyclopedic. His areas of expertise are broad and far-reaching. While working with Mr. Hamblin…
Scott was efficient and knew his stuff. Very thorough and committed to our family. He had worked on two different cases for us and did an excellent job. No regrets!
Mr. Hamblin succeeded in winning a child custody modification case for me that most lawyers I spoke with wouldn't even take on. Many told me that modifying a child custody agreement was nearly impossible. Due to the changes at my children's Father's house and the toll it was taking on their mental health, my children…
Scott is a very compassionate but honest man. I have known Scott for 10+ years. I met him while fostering children with Cole County Children's Division. When he became the adoption lawyer for Cole County Children's Division in 2007 my husband and I were one of the first to use him to become adoptive parents…
Scott is a great lawyer, will do what he says! He will work his tail off for you. It was a long 2 year divorce, but I am so glad he was representing me. Very fair and doesn't overcharge for his services. I can now say he is my friend, not only my attorney.
Scott did a great job handling our custody case. He fought for us every step of the way and got things done quickly. He even refunded over half of our retainer because he got the case handled quicker than expected. I would recommend him to anyone.
Scott Hamblin is a great lawyer. He has assisted me in my divorce and custody issues over the past three years. He is easy to work with and has always kept me informed/involved in my cases, as they progress.
If I ever again need any legal advice, I will ask Scott Hamblin every time. Scott was my divorce/child custody attorney. I was extremely happy with him. He cares about his clients and always called in person. He made the almost impossible come true for me! That's how great of an attorney he is. Thank…
He went above and beyond to get me all the help legally available in each situation, and he did so with a kind and calming demeanor. His efforts also included being logical about the use of my funds in these matters. I have never before met a lawyer who gives refunds if he does not…
Scott Hamblin was originally suggested to me for adoption, but I was so impressed I also used his services for future adoptions, name changes and all family law matters since meeting him.
We were forced to hire an attorney when my childrens’ absentee father decided that he suddenly wanted to file for joint custody. After my consultation we decided Mr. Hamblin was who we needed. He was straightforward about all of the possible outcomes, and what we could and couldn’t do. He knows the law very well,…
Scott represented me on a matter that was small, but very important to me. Scott was professional, honest and informative every step of the way. Even though my case was a small one, I never felt any less than his most important client whenever we met or had court appearances. I am absolutely certain that…
Scott was a great lawyer and turned into a friend. He does everything he says he will do, and he works his tail off for you. He would call me at night, and on weekends, not a lot of lawyers will do that. My divorce took over 2 years, I am so glad I switched…
Scott is a great attorney to have on your side. He has helped my family more than I could of ever expected. Thanks again. I would recommend Scott to anyone!
Mr. Hamblin was a step ahead of my every concern. A divorce can be so scary but to be honest I didn't find myself worrying over the process. He didn't miss a detail and gave me so much confidence in his advice. He went above and beyond my expectations. His understanding made me feel like…
Scott helped us with all 3 of our adoptions and it was amazingly painless, they did all the foot work for us and handled everything very professionally! We are so pleased and our family is complete!
Scott finalized an adoption and guardianship for us in 2016. He went above and beyond and made sure during and after it was done that we had the documents we needed. He also got are new birth certificates very timely.
In 2005, I looked for a lawyer that would help in a criminal case. I found Scott Hamblin. He helped with this matter and was always professional, respectful, and straight to the point. He was always prepared for court and on time. Again in 2012, I needed help for a child custody matter and I…
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