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Family Mediation Attorney in Syracuse, New York

Family law matters, including divorce, child custody, and division of property, often involve sensitive emotions and must be properly managed. Thankfully, family mediation can provide an effective alternative to traditional litigation. If you’re hoping to resolve divorce issues and family law matters, reach out to a dedicated New York State family law attorney as soon as possible. 

With over 20 years of extensive experience, I’m ready to guide you through the legal procedures involved in family mediation.

I serve clients throughout Syracuse and surrounding areas of Cayuga County, Madison County, Onondaga County, Cortland County, and Oswego County. 

What Is Mediation and How Does It Work?

Mediation allows two or more parties to gather information, meet to discuss and settle pending issues, negotiate a feasible settlement, and hopefully reach an agreement. All this is done before ever entering into litigation. 

In family mediation, the individuals or spouses involved in the divorce or other family law issue will meet with a neutral third party with the aim of resolving their differences. The mediator will work with both parties to identify their concerns, settle disputes, and pursue a feasible resolution.

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Benefits of Mediation 

Here are some benefits of settling family law and divorce issues through mediation: 

  • Mediation offers a cost-efficient and quicker way to settle family law issues compared with litigation. 

  • Mediation helps enhance communication between the disputing partners. 

  • Mediation helps estranged spouses keep their affairs private. 

  • Mediation helps divorcing spouses maintain courteous interactions. 

  • Mediation allows divorcing couples to have more control over the process and outcome of their marital dissolution. 

Family Law Issues That Can Be Resolved in Mediation

Some common family law issues that can often be resolved through mediation include: 

  • Divorce 

  • Child support 

  • Child custody disputes 

  • Parenting time or visitation disputes  

  • Spousal support concerns 

  • Identifying separate property and debts 

  • Division of marital assets and debts 

  • Dividing retirement savings and pensions 

Family law cases can certainly be settled through the mediation process—but it’s important to know what to expect before you fully commit to mediation. 

What To Expect in Mediation

Although every situation is unique, and mediators work differently, here’s what you might generally expect during family mediation: 


  • An initial consultation that can be done separately or with both parties.

  • During the first session the mediator will clarify the process, gather basic information and create a roadmap to follow. 

Presentation of Views 

  • Each party presents his or her view of the situation. At this stage, it’s important that key concerns are being brought forth.  Each party has ample opportunity to voice their thoughts and concerns, to discover each party's interests, and learn what is important to them.

Problem Solving 

  • This stage—essentially a negotiation stage—usually takes place with both parties present, but the parties may meet individually with the mediator. It may take more than one session to resolve all the issues. 

  • Certain issues may become clear at this point, including the need to bring in outside experts to help resolve disagreements (such as mental health professionals, co-mediators, and others) 

  • Each party seeks to reach an agreement with the other party. 


  • When parties reach acceptable terms, the mediator drafts an agreement. A Separation Agreement can be the basis for a divorce. A custody or child support agreement can be the basis for a family court order. 

Tips for a Successful Mediation 

Here are some tips to help ensure a successful mediation: 

  • Be open to a fair resolution. 

  • Understand your own interests, clarify your position, and focus on it. 

  • Present all relevant information that can help resolve the family or divorce issue. 

  • Keep in mind that the purpose of mediation is not to demonstrate that you are right, but to reach a possible resolution. 

  • Respect your partner during mediation by avoiding interruptions and always speaking politely. 

  • Work with a mediation friendly attorney to protect your interests. 

Just because you are engaging in mediation doesn’t mean that the process will automatically be peaceful at every stage. There are bound to be frustrations. However, if you remain focused on seeking a fair resolution, you’ll have a better chance of retaining peace of mind and regaining your balance. 

Family Mediation Attorney in Syracuse, New York 

Reach out to me at Nancy L. Giardina, Esq. to schedule a consultation. I can work as your mediator, or I can advise you during mediation with someone else. I serve client throughout Syracuse, New York, as well as Cayuga County, Madison County, Onondaga County, Cortland County, and Oswego County.