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Mediation in Minnesota

By Eric C. Nelson, Esq.

Some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution is now a mandatory requirement in any divorce proceeding in Minnesota.1 Most often, this means mediation.

Mediation is non-binding. This means that the mediator has no authority to force either party to agree to anything at all.

Mediation is also confidential. Nothing said in mediation may be used against a person.

Whatever is tentatively agreed to in mediation still needs to be drafted and signed as a formal stipulation, or agreed to on the record in open court, in order to become binding and enforceable. It is unadvisable to agree to anything without consulting an attorney beforehand. All too often I receive calls from those who didn't appreciate the implications of what they were agreeing to until too late.

If you approach mediation with the attitude that it will be an opportunity to convince the other party to do things your way, mediation will likely fail. For mediation to work, both parties must be prepared to compromise. That said, be careful not to concede too much. A lawyer can give you appreciate where the line is between generous cooperation and foolish capitulation.

1 Rule 114, General Rules of Practice

Eric C. Nelson has devoted his practice exclusively to family law, with particular focus on divorce and child custody matters, including, but not limited to post-decree modification of custody. Eric has successfully handled hundreds of cases of divorces (both contested and uncontested), child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, parenting time, out-of-state moves, domestic abuse, harassment, and other miscellaneous family law matters, both in and out of court. Mr. Nelson has been praised by clients for a respectful attitude, promptness and honesty.

He can be contacted by phone at (612)321-9402 or
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