Louisiana Divorce Mediation

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Role of Master after Louisiana Divorce Mediation

The married couples who desire to separate can steer clear of the cumbersome Court procedure of filing for a limited divorce if they reach an agreement between them. This agreement is called as Marital Settlement Agreement and is in written form. This agreement makes it simple to procure an absolute divorce in the Court. The divorcing couples can create their own agreement during the process of mediation.

The Master is a person appointed by a Court to determine the facts and make recommendations to the Court. There is a 15 to 20 minute hearing in front of the Master that is not adversarial and after which the Master accepts the Marital Settlement Agreement and concludes that the reasons for Absolute Divorce are extant.

Comparison between Arbitration and Louisiana Divorce Mediation

Features of Arbitration:

  • It is similar to a mini trial that is executed outside the Court
  • The arbitrator plays the role of a judge and settles the conflict amongst the parties
  • The arbitrator may be a retired judge, a lawyer, an organization or a panel belonging to the American Arbitration Association
  • The arbitration may be provided for by law, may be necessitated by a provision in a contract for settling conflicts or may be acceded to by the parties
  • If arbitration is needed as per a contract, then the decision reached during an arbitration has to be converted to a legal judgment by submitting a petition to Court excluding when a party claims that the decision involves fraud, collusion and gross injustice

Features of Mediation:

  • The mediator is a third party who displays active participation in a legal dispute to assist to settle it
  • The mediator does not play the role of a judge and does not make the final decision is case of a disputed issue
  • The mediator charges a fee for the services but this is much less than the cost of a lawsuit
  • Mediation may result in an early settlement which causes less stress to the parties
  • Mediation is not always successful in handling conflicts and the parties involved might not reach an agreement

Types of Mediation

When both the partners mutually accede to mediate the disputed areas, the mediation is called as Private or Voluntary mediation. In this type, none of the partners is under legal obligation to continue the mediation. If one partner feels that the other partner is not responding fairly, the mediation can be terminated. This mediation continues as long as both partners desire it should continue. Private mediation is charged an hourly fee. Some mediators levy an initial or set-up fee for arranging a meeting with the parties to discuss which issues the parties intend to discuss in mediation.

The mediation that is ordered by a Court during a divorce is called as Court-ordered mediation. For example, when one party files litigation, the Court can issue orders that the parties should mediate a child custody agreement. This type of mediation ends when an agreement is reached. No charges or fees are levied for Court-ordered mediation.

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