Divorce and Family Law Mediation

Schantz Law provides divorce mediation and family law mediation. Laura Schantz is a mediator when she is acting in a neutral role. She cannot be the mediator when she is representing only one party as his or her family law attorney. In her role as a divorce mediator, she would not be representing either party.  She would assist both parties (with or without their own attorneys) in reaching a solution while saving time, cost, and the stress and bad feelings that may come if a divorce becomes contested. Laura has over 20 years of experience as a family law attorney.  She knows what likely outcomes will be in court.  She has a reputation for being reasonable and helping parties resolve their divorces.

We settle most of our cases out of court. Most parties do not want their divorce or other family law case to be World War Three. Therefore, we try in every case to find a resolution that will be fair and satisfying to both parties. Mediation is when a neutral third party helps the two parties settle their differences and reach a conclusion to their case.

Mediation can occur with attorneys present or without attorneys and with just the parties present. Most county courthouses have mediation offered for the parties in a family law case to discuss a parenting plan if there are children involved in a case. Usually this type of mediation is free or for a very low cost. Attorneys are not present during this kind of mediation. Parents are typically able to resolve these issues about when the children will spend time with each parent themselves.

It is important to be prepared for mediation. In divorce mediation,  first, discovery documents are exchanged and an asset and liability spreadsheet is created (all assets have been valued). Next, income has been determined for each of the parties. Then, it is a good time to start settlement negotiations related to property division and spousal support and child support. At this time, it makes sense to hire a private mediator to assist the parties in reaching a settlement. It can be a waste of money to engage in mediation before all of the necessary information is gathered.

Usually the mediator is paid an hourly rate similar to an attorney’s hourly rate. The process of mediation may happen in one session, or in several sessions depending on how prepared the parties are.  The mediator may send the parties back with “homework” to complete and resume on another day.  Private mediation does cost, but it is less expensive than going to trial, and the parties get to decide their own outcome, rather than allowing a Judge to decide for them.  All of the attorneys at Schantz Law can guide you towards a settlement using mediation with a private mediator.



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