In most family cases, conflicts regarding custody, child
support, alimony and property can be resolved through a collaborative process,
such as mediation. Mediation allows the
parties to sit down with a trained mediator and work out financial and custody
issues with open dialogue. Even parties
that no longer get along or believe they cannot communicate with one another
can benefit from mediation if a trained and experienced mediator can help
through the process. Mediators serve as neutral, third party that facilitates a
conversation between the parties in an effort to reach a resolution. When both parties
are ready, willing and able to listen to one another, mediation can help
minimize the conflict and tension and foster a dialogue between the parties
that can hopefully continue thereafter.
Ms. Malik serves as a mediator to parties hoping to reach an
agreement resolving their issues. In these cases, the parties are either
representing themselves or are represented by other attorneys. If the
parties are representing themselves, Ms. Malik can work with the parties in
drafting a settlement agreement (however, she does not represent either party and does not assist in any subsequent
court filing or hearings).
Benefits of Mediation:
- Cost Effective: Mediation significantly reduces the expense
of litigation. The cost entails the hourly rate of the mediator (which is often split equally bewteen the parties) and any subsequent drafting and review of a written agreement.
- Efficient: In most cases, mediation can be
quicker than litigation. Mediation sessions usually last approximately 2 to 4 hours and continue over a handful of sessions. If the parties share the goal to resolve the matter, mediation can save parties from a lot of time and stress.
- Less Adversarial: Litigation is an adversarial process and often forces parties to take harsh positions to reach their individual goal. Mediation, on the other hand, forces the parties to listen and work together to reach a common goal.
- Control: Maintaining control over your family is the greatest benefit. Trial results in a judge making the final decision about your children, finances and property. While the courts are guided by legal standards, the outcome remains unpredictable. The two parties of a case are usually in the best position to decide what is best for their family and mediation allows parties to maintain that control.
Ms. Malik is experienced in mediating the following types of matters:
- Pre-litigation and mid-litigation custody (physical and legal), visitation, divorce, property, alimony and child support
- Grandparent visitation/access and custody
- Modification of custody or access schedules
- Family law appeals
- Pre-nuptial agreements