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Mediation is a form of conflict resolution which is tailored towards seeking an agreed solution to an issue rather than developing arguments against one another.  Not only does it encourage the parties to try and find common ground to reach an acceptable solution, it will typically yield a resolution which will last much longer without additional conflicts.  Also, when children are involved, it guides the parents to focus on the needs of their children rather than on hurting each other.  The mediator is a neutral third party who has been specifically trained to guide the parties toward a satisfactory resolution to their specific issue. 

There are two major types of domestic relations mediation:
  • Mediation once litigation has begun.
  • Pre-Litigation Mediation. 

A third type of mediation is Child Focused Mediation.  The main difference between Child Focused Mediation and typical mediation is the inclusion of the children's particular needs and best interest in the mediation process.

No matter what path brings you to mediation, there are several universal benefits to taking advantage of mediation as a method of conflict is private.

• Clients can design their own solution that fits their particular family's needs.
• Mediation generally costs far less than litigation.
• Mediation generally has greater success in reaching long lived solutions.
• Allows the parties to focus on the best interest of the children.

Close Hitchcock Mediation services are available both in-person and virtual options. Mediations are conducted by Megan Close and Michael Middleton both of which are Registered Domestic Relations Mediators.

Nearly all counties in northeast Indiana require parties to utilize mediation to resolve issues before the parties heading to court to litigate their divorce, legal separation, custody, parenting time or child support matters. In this instance, the parties are typically represented by counsel. The mediator travels back and forth between two rooms (or virtual rooms) working with each party and their attorney. The mediator will focus on the issues that the parties have not been able to agree upon, often pushing the parties to think "outside the box" when seeking a resolution that will fit their specific family's needs.

Pre-Litigation Mediation is tailored towards those parties who would rather spend their energy, time and money working towards a resolution to their issue that will not add to the pain and frustration already being experienced. Whether the issue is divorce, custody, property distribution, child support or parenting time, the parties utilizing pre-litigation mediation will work directly with the mediator to walk through each issue to be decided. The mediator does not represent either party, but will guide them through their concerns to help find an agreeable solution. The mediator will also draft the necessary documents for filing with the court. Pre-litigation mediation allows the parties to make decisions about their own family rather than allow a judge (who has the least amount of information about your particular family) to make the final decisions.

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