What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation uses the services of a skilled and knowledgeable neutral party (the mediator) to guide both spouses to a voluntary agreement, tailor-made to their own particular situation. The mediator is a facilitator in the process and doesn’t make any final decisions about the settlement agreement. Mediation allows the divorcing couple to retain full control of the outcome of the divorce.
How does the mediator stay neutral during the process?
Since the mediator isn’t allowed to make any decisions during the process, he does not have to make any determinations of fault. He is not representing either party; rather, he acts a facilitator who must examine both sides of the issues being contested. In this way, he can enable both parties to improve their communication and work out their issues together in a harmonious way.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediation will save you a great deal of time and money compared to a divorce that goes into litigation. Generally, it will result in a much better agreement that more closely meets the needs of both spouses. Mediation can also help improve communication between you and your ex-spouse. This is especially important if you will need to have an ongoing relationship after the divorce, most likely to deal with parenting issues.
Do I still need a lawyer in the mediation process?
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer, financial planner, or accountant, even when opting for mediation. Consulting an attorney will help ensure that you understand all of your legal rights. It is also helpful to have the final agreement reviewed by an attorney before it is signed.
Does the mediator meet with both spouses together or separately?
This varies depending on the mediator. Some prefer to work with each spouse separately, while others favor joint meetings where everyone involved is present at once. Your individual circumstances will determine which approach is best for you. It is important to raise this question with a potential mediator in your first consultation.
How do I prepare for divorce mediation?
Your mediation will go more quickly and efficiently if you come prepared. The more you know about your assets, liabilities, children’s schedules, and your goals for the eventual settlement, the more your mediator can help you reach a fair and acceptable solution for all parties involved.