Pitfalls of Family Court Mediation

Looking for information on Clark County family court mediation?

In Clark County, Nevada if you are divorcing with children or going through a custody battle there is a very good chance you will end up at the Family Mediation Center (FMC) to attempt mediation with your ex. While mediation may seem like a nice idea, there are disadvantages to mediating custody and divorce cases especially in Clark County. Understanding the potential pitfalls of mediation should make you better prepared to mediate your case. Consider these pitfalls before attending mediation

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Having an inexperienced family court mediator:

Not all mediators are created equal. Unfortunately, having an inexperienced mediator can cost you time and money as well as lead to terrible results for your mediation. An inexperienced mediator will not understand the issues, will not know how to control the situation and will be ineffective in helping you reach a resolution. If you find that your mediator is inexperienced, you may want to ask for another mediator or perhaps end the mediation altogether. If you decide to try mediation with an experienced mediator, make sure you have properly prepared yourself for mediation, that you know your rights and know what you want to achieve from mediation.

Not having an attorney present at FMC:

In Clark County, FMC does not generally allow attorneys to participate in mediation. As a result, many mediators give legal advice to litigants, even though they are not supposed to. Many times, the legal advice is just dead wrong. If you do not understand the law, or if you feel more comfortable having your attorney present for mediation, simply decline FMC mediation OR ask for a private mediation where your lawyer can be present.

No judge is present:

Part of the litigation process and having events occur before a judge is to ensure that both parties to litigation operate on a level playing field. In mediation, there is no judge present and I have had clients tell me that it felt like a free for all, that they were ganged up on by the mediator or that their ex brought up events that were embarrassing and harassing. Unfortunately, in mediation there are really no rules and without a judge, it is up to the mediator to keep the peace.

Increased Time and Expense In Litigation:

Often times mediation does not work and the parties know it will not work at the outset of their case. In these situations, clients need to be vocal and insist that mediation is a waste of time and money. Otherwise, parties can find themselves having to attend multiple hearings to discuss the results of mediation which ends up delaying the case and costing more in attorney’s fees. Again, if you know that mediation isn’t for you, speak up and save yourself the time and expense of what will likely be a failed mediation.

Even if you reach an agreement in family court mediation your case is not over:

In Clark County, Nevada our mediation center is only able to mediate custody. As a result, many other items such as child support, health insurance and division of assets and debts are not discussed in mediation. This means that even if you can successfully negotiate custody, you will still need to see a judge and pay a lawyer to talk about finances and dividing your assets and debts. Again, this can take additional time and additional money and further delay your case.

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In our opinion, despite the pitfalls referenced here, mediation can helpful in some cases. Being properly prepared for mediation is the key. Please consider our other articles on this subject and if you or someone you know needs assistance in their family court case, call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is family court mediation in Clark County, Nevada?

Family court mediation in Clark County is a process where divorcing couples with children or those involved in a custody dispute attempt to resolve their issues through mediation at the Family Mediation Center (FMC) instead of going through lengthy court proceedings. Mediation is facilitated by a neutral third-party mediator.

When is family court mediation used in Clark County?

Mediation is commonly used in Clark County when a couple is divorcing and there are disputes over child custody. It is an alternative to going through contested custody hearings before a judge.

What are some potential pitfalls of family court mediation?

There are several potential pitfalls to be aware of with family court mediation:

  • Having an inexperienced mediator who does not understand all the issues or control the process effectively.

  • Not having an attorney present, since they are generally excluded from FMC mediation sessions.

  • No judge is present to ensure a level playing field between parties.

  • It can increase time and expenses if mediation fails and you have to go through litigation anyway.

  • Mediation may only cover child custody, still requiring court hearings for finances, support, etc.

Should I avoid mediation if I know it won’t work?

Yes, if you strongly believe mediation will be pointless and not lead to an agreement, you should insist that it would be a waste of time and money. Decline FMC mediation or request a private mediation where attorneys can participate.

Can mediators give legal advice during mediation?

No, mediators are not supposed to provide legal advice even though attorneys are generally excluded. However, some mediators still may improperly give legal advice. Get advice from your attorney if you are unsure about anything said.

What should I do if I have an inexperienced mediator?

You can request a different, more experienced mediator. Or, if it is clear the mediation will not be productive, end it and decline future mediation attempts. Make sure you are prepared with knowledge of your rights and goals.

Does reaching a custody agreement in mediation finalize my divorce/custody case?

No, mediation only covers child custody. You will still need court hearings for financial matters like child support, asset division, etc. before your case is completed.

How can I best prepare for productive family court mediation?

Be sure you fully understand your rights and goals. Seek advice from your attorney beforehand. Research and prepare for the process. If needed, ask for accommodations like having a support person present. Stay firm if you believe mediation will not work.

When is mediation not recommended for family court cases?

If there has been domestic violence, power imbalances, or lack of negotiation skills, mediation is often not advised. Consult your attorney on whether mediation seems appropriate or not.

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Mediation – A voluntary, confidential dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party helps disputing parties reach an agreement.

Mediator – The neutral third party who facilitates the mediation process between disputing parties.

Family court mediation – Mediation specifically utilized for resolving child custody and divorce disputes.

Clark County – County in Nevada containing Las Vegas, where family court mediation takes place at the Family Mediation Center (FMC).

Family Mediation Center (FMC) – The mediation center in Clark County, Nevada that conducts mediation for child custody and divorce cases.

Litigants – The parties involved in a lawsuit, legal dispute, or family court case undergoing mediation.

Contested custody – Custody disputes between parents that must be resolved through court proceedings and hearings before a judge.

Pitfalls – Potential problems, disadvantages or risks associated with something. In this case, pitfalls of family court mediation.

Domestic violence – Physical, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse between family members or intimate partners. Often makes mediation inappropriate.

Power imbalances – When one party has more power or control over the other in a relationship, impacting the mediation.

Negotiation skills – The ability to calmly discuss disputes and compromise to reach mutually agreeable solutions. Lacking skills can impair mediation.

Additional Resources for You

Molly Rosenblum, Esq., our distinguished lead attorney, not only offers exceptional legal representation but has also developed a wealth of resources to support you through various facets of family law in Nevada. These resources, meticulously curated and available on the Rosenblum Law website, provide insightful guidance and practical information tailored to your needs in times of uncertainty or decision-making. Here’s an overview of the resources you can access:

  1. Las Vegas Family Law Attorneys: A comprehensive guide offering expert advice and legal strategies for navigating the complexities of family law in Las Vegas. Explore the guide.

  2. Family Court Las Vegas: Crucial information and resources for understanding and navigating the family court system in Las Vegas effectively. Learn about Family Court.

  3. Common Law Marriage in Nevada: Insightful details on the status and implications of common law marriage in the state of Nevada. Understand Common Law Marriage.

  4. Name Change Las Vegas: Guidance on the legal process and necessary steps to legally change your name in Las Vegas. Get information on Name Change.

  5. Nevada Power of Attorney: Essential information on creating a power of attorney in Nevada, enabling you to make crucial decisions regarding your legal and financial affairs. Learn about Power of Attorney.

  6. How to File a Motion in Family Court: Step-by-step guidance on filing motions in family court, an essential aspect of navigating legal proceedings effectively. Understand the process.

  7. Unbundled Attorney: Insight into the concept of unbundled legal services, offering a more flexible and cost-effective approach to legal representation. Learn about Unbundled Legal Services.

  8. Nevada Adoption: A guide to the adoption process in Nevada, providing you with the knowledge and resources to navigate this significant life event. Explore Adoption in Nevada.

These resources reflect Molly Rosenblum, Esq.’s dedication to providing comprehensive legal support and information, ensuring that you’re well-equipped to handle the intricacies of family law matters in Nevada.

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Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

Here are seven resources that provide valuable information and support related to family court mediation:

  1. American Bar Association (ABA) – Section of Dispute Resolution: The ABA’s Dispute Resolution section offers resources, training, and information on mediation and other forms of dispute resolution.

  2. Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR): ACR is a professional organization dedicated to enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution, including family court mediation.

  3. This site provides articles, resources, and a directory of mediators, with a specific section dedicated to divorce mediation.

  4. Avvo – Family Lawyers: Avvo provides a directory of family lawyers, along with user ratings and reviews. These professionals can assist in cases involving family court mediation.

  5. Justia – Family Law Lawyers: Justia offers a directory of family law attorneys, including those specializing in mediation.

  6. FindLaw – Family Law: FindLaw provides articles and resources on family law, including the advantages and disadvantages of mediation.

  7. National Family Mediation (UK based): Although this is a UK-based organization, it provides a wealth of information about the mediation process that can be useful to understand the potential pitfalls.

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A Special Message from Our Lead Attorney

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Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Are you looking for an experienced family law attorney in Las Vegas?

Look no further than The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm.

Our team of lawyers has extensive experience helping Las Vegas residents just like yourself with issues related to divorce, adoption, child custody and more.

We understand how stressful legal matters can be and will work hard to ensure the best outcome possible in your case.

Plus, we have flexible fees so that any budget can access quality legal assistance!

Don’t wait: Call The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm today at (702) 433-2889and start taking control of your case now!

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