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Most divorce cases will be mediated if they do not settle at a very early stage. Judges will often require the parties to mediate prior to having a final hearing. During mediation, each party is represented by an attorney. The mediator is a neutral party, who cannot give the parties legal advice. A mediation will commonly take place at the office of the mediator or at the office of one of the attorneys representing a party. During mediation, the mediator will move from room to room meeting with each side. Mediation is different from arbitration. A mediator does not make any binding decisions for the parties. The mediator simply tries to assist the parties in reaching a settlement. The mediator cannot force a party to settle.
Allen F. Harris has mediated numerous cases over the years. "My practice is to always insist on being in caucus during the mediation whereby my client and I are in a room separate from the opposing party and opposing attorney. When the mediator comes and presents us with a position of the opposing party, I ask the mediator to step out and allow us to discuss prior to relaying any counter to the mediator. Sometimes we do not settle at mediation, but get closer and settle at a later date. Mediation can take more than one session. I view mediation as a very positive way to resolve divorce cases." - Allen F. Harris.
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