What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process that can be used in divorce proceedings to help settle disputes between two parties.
Divorce mediation is often an alternative for people who want to avoid going through the court system, as well as those who are looking for a less confrontational form of divorce.
At first glance, it might seem like divorce mediation offers many benefits, but what does divorce mediation consist of and how does it compare with other forms of filing for divorce?
This article will explore these questions and provide some helpful insights into this cost-effective way of obtaining a divorce.
What does a divorce mediator do?
A divorce mediator provides an unbiased and informed overview of the couple’s rights and obligations during the dispute (or discussion) phase of their disagreement.
This is done in order to help them make an informed decision before signing any agreements or appearing in court- as a result, legal costs are minimized while also ensuring that their concerns are addressed.
The divorce mediator will begin by discussing the issues that are in dispute with both parties.
In order to do this, they might ask questions and go over contracts or agreements before trying to establish a timeline for negotiations.
Unlike a judge or arbitrator, divorce mediators cannot make rulings or decisions surround your divorce, nor do they provide legal advice to either party.
A divorce mediator is a much less intimidating presence than a judge.
If nothing else, a divorce mediator can help you understand the divorce laws in your state and help you prepare for court should you and your spouse decide that is the only way to complete your divorce process.
Once the mediator has an understanding of what is disputed, he or she will provide details surrounding their options and the mediation process.
What are some benefits of divorce mediation?
There are many benefits that come from using a divorce mediator instead of going through the traditional court process. The most obvious benefit is money saved on legal fees and time spent in court.
Mediation also helps to maintain an amicable divorce by avoiding the stress and pain of having to go through a trial in front of strangers on your behalf. It is often more efficient as well, which means you can get divorced faster than if it was going through traditional court proceedings.
Related: How much does an average divorce cost?
How is a divorce mediator chosen?
At the beginning of divorce mediation, both parties will be given a list of potential mediators to choose from.
Many times, a divorce lawyer can help you find potential divorce mediators based on your needs and the matters that need mediating.
You and your spouse will then need to review each other’s options and come to a decision as to who you would like to be your divorce mediator.
Once they have made their selection, legal counsel may still work with them for some time before and during the course of negotiations.
What types of things are discussed during divorce mediation?
Typically, divorce mediations are used to discuss things like asset and property division.
Here are some things that may be discussed during divorce mediation:
- Who will keep the house after the divorce?
- What assets do we currently own and how will they be divided?
- How will child custody work?
- What about the debts do we have and how will they be divided?
- Will either spouse be responsible for paying alimony? If so, how much?
If you and your spouse have children, things like child custody and child support will also be discussed during divorce mediation.
Related: Parenting tips to consider when going through a divorce
When is divorce mediation not the best option for me?
Divorce mediation is not always the best option for one of both parties involved in a divorce.
Marriages involving children may make coming to terms more difficult without a judge.
If your spouse has a convincing, abusive, or authoritative personality, you may be exposed during a mediation.
The best way to decide if divorce mediation is a viable option is to discuss your case with a local divorce attorney.
They will ask important questions surrounding your divorce and provide insight into the pros and cons of using a mediator for your divorce.
Do I need a divorce lawyer for mediation?
A divorce lawyer is not required for mediation, but having an expert looking out for your best interest is always recommended.
A divorce mediator is there as an unbiased party.
Their role is simply to explain how divorce laws work.
Your divorce lawyer will have an understanding of what you’d like to get out of a divorce and they will be able to make sure an authoritative is there to represent you.
We especially suggest a divorce attorney during your mediation if your spouse is typically the decision-maker.
Although divorce mediation is meant to be a more laid-back alternative than a court-ruled divorce, there is still stress involved.
A long mediation may force you to make decisions you may not typically make.
If you have a divorce attorney at your side, they will make sure you stand your ground and get the results you want.
They will also be able to make suggestions or, if decisions cannot be made, help you make the decision as to whether or not divorce mediation is not going to be able to resolve your disputes.