Law Office of Amanda Salcido

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Resourceful Legal Guidance In Family Law & Criminal Defense

To settle or not to settle? That is the question often posed in family law mediation. Every family law case involving divorce, child support, and/or custody must go through mediation in the family law division before a final hearing or trial is set.

The process of mediation is to allow the parties to settle their cases outside of the courtroom. Parties are permitted to negotiate the terms of their settlement and encouraged to come to an agreement without the assistance of a judge. It is much better for the parties to come to a mutual agreement than to allow a total stranger to determine the terms of an agreement the parties may be following for a very long time.

The process is simple. Typically, parties are in separate rooms with their attorneys, if represented. Cases involving domestic violence can be provided adequate security. A neutral, third-party mediator assists the parties in addressing their concerns and facilitating the negotiation process. The mediator will go back and forth between the rooms until the parties reach an agreement, an impasse, or run out of time. The mediator does not provide legal advice, but offers assistance in helping parties reach a resolution. To encourage open dialogue and maximum participation, everything, with the exception of future crimes or past abuse, is confidential. The only thing that is conveyed to the judge is that the parties partcipated and they did or did not reach an agreement.

Parties can reach a total agreement, partial agreement or impasse. Those matters that cannot be resolved are left for the judge to decide. A reputable mediator once said, "if it is a good mediation, both parties should feel that they left something at the mediation table." Meaning, like a good compromise, neither party will get everything they want.

It is important to speak to an attorney prior to mediation. An attorney can provide invaluable insight on the potential issues that can give you the best chance of success.

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Attorney Amanda Salcido has served her country as a member of the U.S. Army JAG Corp for more than 10 years. Her military experience spans nearly two decades. Ms. Salcido provides professional legal guidance for service members and non-service members alike.

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