Lawsuits are notorious for absorbing months or even years of time, to say nothing of the substantial financial resources expended for attorney fees. Divorce and child custody cases are no exception to this rule. Family law cases are often more emotionally exhausting for those involved than other types of lawsuits, as the very nature of the case is deeply personal, and the result of the case will likely have far-reaching consequences for the lives of the parties. One way to bring closure to the parties is to settle the case before going to a final hearing. Settlement has many advantages, including a quicker resolution to the case and fewer attorney bills to pay. Mediation is a very common way that parties end up settling their cases. During mediation the parties sit down with a neutral third party and attempt to come to a solution on some or even all of the issues. This will only be effective, however, if both parties come to the table with a good faith intention to attempt to resolve the issues in your case.
The Minnesota rules require that parties attempt to settle the case through mediation before proceeding to a final hearing. The law does not require that the parties actually successfully settle a case, just that the parties attend mediation and attempt to settle. In some cases, however, one or both parties may believe mediation would be futile.
If you believe mediation would be futile, it is possible for you to file a motion with the court asking for you to be excused from the requirement. Whether the court is willing to waive the requirement for mediation will depend in large part on the reason you believe it is futile. For example, if your reason behind believing mediation would be futile is because you and your spouse simply do not agree on the issues, the court is not likely to waive the mediation requirement. After all, the whole reason civil suits exist is because the parties have been unable to agree up to this point. Conversely, if you believe mediation should be waived because there is a history of domestic violence and the imbalance of power would make the process unfair, the court is more likely to waive the requirement.
We have extensive experience helping our clients with all stages of family law cases, including mediation. Call us today at (320) 299-4249 and schedule a consultation to talk about your divorce or custody case.