Mediation has become a popular tool in New Orleans for resolving child custody and visitation issues as well as other issues related to divorcing and separating couples. It is a process whereby a neutral third party works with parties to a separation or divorce to assist the parties in resolving their differences in a way that is agreeable to both parties. The mediation of child custody and visitation disputes reduces conflict between parents and helps them to communicate more effectively when they are resolving disputes and when their disputes end. Mediation allows divorcing or separating parents to resolve personal and complex issues in private, outside the courtroom environment, without the presence of outsiders who have no interest in the dispute. When compared to litigation, which can be a costly endeavor for the parents, the mediation of child custody and visitation disputes saves the parties considerable time and money.
The mediator is not a judge or arbitrator, but a professional in Gretna who is usually a lawyer or mental health professional who has been specially trained to work with couples who have chosen to end their relationships. While many mediators are lawyers, mediators who work with couples do not represent either one of the parties. After the mediator prepares the “Memorandum of Understanding” or MOU which is a document containing the agreements reached by the parties in the mediation, you can take the MOU to the Court’s “Self-Help Desk” which can assist you in incorporating the MOU into a Consent Judgment or you can take it to a lawyer of your choice to have the agreements filed with the court. The Self-Help Desks in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes are staffed with volunteer lawyers who assist individuals with family, divorce, and domestic legal issues in the courts.