CONSIDERING A DIVORCE?
An increasingly large number of parties who are litigating in family courts in Louisiana are not represented by attorneys. Many times, these “pro se” or “self-represented” litigants choose not to pay the costs and fees normally associated with retaining an attorney for a litigated divorce. Thus, they decide to handle their issues in family court themselves without direct representation by attorneys. As a result, these litigants will usually appear before a private mediator who will work with the parties to develop a custody and visitation schedule and a detailed settlement agreement. The parties will then take the settlement agreement, often referred to as a “Memorandum of Understanding” or MOU, directly to the court or to their attorneys if they have hired attorneys. With a mediator, an easy divorce is within your reach.
You can select a mediator of your own without initially going to court or you can go to court and the judge will appoint a mediator. If you are able to communicate effectively with your spouse or partner, you will often able to meet with a mediator for a few hours and walk away with a settlement agreement that you reach with the other party. Your ability to communicate with the other party will result in savings of hundreds or thousands of dollars and a longer lasting agreement, thus an “easy divorce”. This cooperation is better for children your relationship and for you and your spouse or partner.
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 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.
Our mediators provide an easy divorce solution to our clients in Gretna, New Orleans and surrounding areas.
Family mediation has been used for over twenty-five years across New Orleans and surrounding areas in Louisiana to help separating and divorcing couples resolve the many issues that arise upon their separation and/or divorce.
Our family mediation services can be used to resolve single issues such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, division of community property, asset distribution, division of liabilities, or any combination of these issues. Let us help you work towards a private, affordable and easy divorce