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A non-contested or “kitchen table” case requires two people who both wish to reach an agreement on all issues. Often these cases involve a higher level of trust between the parties. Our role in a non-contested case includes advising on the overall fairness of an agreement, drafting the necessary settlement documents and submitting the agreement to the court.
Some cases cannot be resolved in a non-contested setting. This could be due to a lack of trust or an unwillingness to reach a compromise. In a litigated case, we gather information through discovery, negotiate with opposing counsel, advise about possible settlement, and if necessary, prepare for a trial in which a judge will decide all contested matters.
Mediation involves the assistance of a third-party neutral who helps the parties have a conversation about the contested matters and hopefully assist the parties in reaching a resolution. A mediator may not provide legal advice to either party, but will often draft a settlement agreement and parenting plan for the parties to review with their respective attorneys.