Facilitation and Mediation
Our Firm Provides Private Mediation Services for Civil, Family and Probate Disputes.
Firm members Christopher Morris and Gail Towne are trained and experienced mediators in a variety of areas of law. Mr. Morris is an approved mediator for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan and is also approved under the Michigan Court Rules as well as the requirements set by the State Court Administrators Office. Though Ms. Towne primarily focuses her mediation practice on family law matters, she and Mr. Morris are available to provide mediation services in general civil disputes and probate disputes.
Mediation is incorporated in both the federal and state courts as a means for alternative dispute resolution. Mediators are selected by the parties to confidentially bring the parties to a settlement. Mediation can take place at any time prior to and after the commencement of a lawsuit and often provides a less expensive alternative to formal litigation. Mediation allows the parties to form an alternative agreement rather than taking the risks that are inherent for all parties in formal proceedings.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that parties and families can effectively use to resolve their divorce, custody case, or other matter outside of court. A variety of ADR options exist, and they can apply in any civil lawsuit or court case, but mediation is particularly well-suited to domestic disputes like divorce and child custody and parenting time. Mediation allows parties and their attorneys, if they have them, to meet either together or separately with a neutral third party to work through what life will look like after the divorce is final, while focusing on what is best for that particular family. Mediation can help the parties address every aspect of divorce or other family law matter, including:
- Child custody and parenting time and related issues
- Child support and related issues
- Spousal support
- Property distribution
- Debt assumption
- Insurance coverage
- Probate and other Civil matters
Mediation helps couples and co-parents to make decisions using interest-based discussions and negotiations focusing on how best to create a plan forward for all. As the former Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee of the Family Law Section of the Michigan State Bar, Ms. Towne, specifically, was involved in the passage of the Collaborative Law Act, amending Michigan Court Rules for Friend of the Court ADR processes and court forms, as well as training related to domestic violence in mediation.
Ms. Towne participated in the drafting of the Michigan court rules for family law mediation from the very outset. She has long recognized that the decisions regarding ending a marriage or relationship, or regarding custody and parenting time for children are quite personal and often difficult to navigate. Mediation can help diffuse conflict, resolve your case more quickly with creative and personalized solutions, as well as save time and money in a private and safe environment.
Practicing both facilitative and evaluative mediation, Ms. Towne helps parties and families discuss those problems ahead of time to develop remedies or processes that they will use to resolve issues when they happen in the future. If an unanticipated issue arises, follow-up mediation sessions can be scheduled to help the parties find a solution without having to go back to court.