Divorce mediation is an excellent choice for couples interested in working together to arrive at the best solutions for both parties. Through mediation, the couple meets with a neutral third-party—such a family law attorney—who guides the couple through legal decisions regarding important issues such as property division, custody and financial support.
Mediation can be an especially good option for couples with children as they can work out a parenting plan as well as set a positive, collaborative tone for future communications.
For mediation to work effectively, both parties must be amicable and emotionally prepared for the proceedings.
Many couples choose mediation to be more in control of the divorce process, than if they handed proceedings over to a judge. Moreover, divorce mediation generally moves more quickly and costs less than a typical court process.
How Does Mediation Work?
Together, the couple chooses a mediator, someone with special training to help couples work through divorce. The mediator’s job is facilitate an open dialogue between the parties. The mediator gives time for each to speak and ask questions, and to provide legal information and options so that the couple understands the ramifications of their decisions.
The couple meets with the mediator several times to identify issues to be discussed, gather all of the pertinent information, including appraisals, and reach compromises together with the assistance of the mediator.
Once the parties agree, the mediator draws up an agreement for the parties to sign. Note that even if the parties don’t agree on everything, they still may draw up an agreement on whichever issues they can resolve. On the remaining issues, the parties may then litigate or pursue mediation again at a later time.
It is important to understand that the mediator isn’t the legal representative of either spouse. Accordingly, both parties may choose to retain independent legal counsel for advice during the process, and also to review any agreement before filing it with the court.
Overall, divorce mediation can be one of the least stressful ways to manage an already difficult emotional time.
Mary C. Neff, JD | Attorney | email@example.com | (314) 454-9100 ext. 109 | Learn more about Mary