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Mediation & Arbitration


What is Arbitration?

In arbitration, a neutral third party, who is agreed upon by both parties, hears evidence at a hearing, usually conducted in an office rather than a courtroom. The arbitrator then issues an award, which is final and binding on all parties. Most arbitrations are referred to us by the recommendations of other attorneys.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a confidential, cooperative, problem-solving process, where a neutral mediator assists individuals in clearly defining the issues in a dispute and in reaching an agreement. The mediator helps participants resolve misunderstandings and communicate more clearly with one another. The parties control the outcome. The mediation process is confidential, and it is typically a less costly alternative to a court trial. Most mediations are referred to us by the recommendation of other attorneys, or by order of the court. Charles Phillips and Cheryl Gemignani have over 75 years of experience mediating disputes and are trusted by their colleagues and the court to aid the parties in the resolution of their conflict.

How Does Mediation Work?

If you and your spouse are not represented and are interested in mediating your matter with us, please contact our office. We can meet with you, and help finalize the issues related to your divorce, as well as assist you with completing the paperwork required for an uncontested divorce. If you have an attorney, and your spouse has an attorney, then the attorney’s offices will contact our office to schedule your mediation. We ask your attorneys to provide us with the pertinent information about your case in advance of the mediation. Payment is due from each side prior to mediation. The mediator will speak with both sides and work diligently to bring the parties to a conclusion that is fair and acceptable to all parties. The mediator will draft a memorandum of understanding to memorialize the agreement, which will then be drafted as a Marital Settlement Agreement filed with the court.

A Note About Our Attorneys

Charles Phillips started one of the first divorce mediation businesses in the State of Wisconsin in 1986. He has been helping families mediate matters since that time. He focuses his practice exclusively on mediation matters. Cheryl Gemignani was one of the founding members of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Wisconsin and firmly believes that individuals should be in charge of their own decisions and that generating flexible options for each family provides the best outcomes for success going forward. She is committed to reaching resolutions acceptable to all, which preserve the family’s positive relationships. She has served as a mediator for many years and has helped parties successfully resolve their issues. She also serves as an arbitrator as appointed by the court. Michelle Stoeck frequently meets with couples who are seeking to resolve their divorce without having to go through difficult and costly litigation. One party (husband or wife) calls our office to set up a consultation for one hour. Both parties may come in for the consultation, at which time the parties give Michelle background information and Michelle helps identify the areas of conflict and options for resolution. One party can then retain Michelle on a limited scope basis (such as for a period of three hours), or that party may call to schedule another consultation, to have Michelle prepare agreements or help the parties reach a resolution without significant litigation costs.