Divorce Mediation

What is Divorce Mediation?

Couples can often finalize their divorce without making court appearances this way. You and your spouse can save time, money, and frustration by participating in a mediation process. It’s usually designed to address all assets at the time of divorce, allows for more creative parenting agreements, and spouses have more flexibility to reach agreements cost effectively. When you mediate, the record of your divorce becomes public, but everything said during your mediation sessions remains completely confidential. A couple can begin divorce mediation by simply hiring a mediator—no court filing is required to get started. Mediation can be an option even if you think you won’t be able to resolve all the issues in your divorce. You might still be able to resolve some of the issues, which will narrow down the topics you’ll need to litigate, saving you money and shortening the amount of time you’ll need to spend in court.

How long a mediation takes depends on :

  • The number of topics to be addressed
  • How complex those topics are
  • The time between sessions
  • The cooperation level of the spouses

Who Should Consider Mediation :

  • Those who want to minimize costs
  • Those who can come to an agreement effectively and efficiently. A willingness to compromise is essential.
  • Those who have a level playing field. If either spouse has the upper hand, in one form or another, mediation often won’t work. Likewise, if a spouse is deceitful, mediation isn’t really viable.
  • If a spouse is legally claiming that another is at fault for the divorce or already has an attorney, the other will usually need an attorney as well.

What are Mediators?

A professional mediator must be neutral, as neutrality is paramount to a fair mediation outcome. Therefore, mediators cannot participate in the mediation process if any conflicts of interest arise that would favor either party. In addition, professional Mediators will not provide legal advice, as they are not authorized to act as an attorney for either party.

Do I need an attorney for Divorce Mediation?

No. Legal representation can be valuable through mediation sessions although it is not necessary. Attoneys help to ensure the mediation outcome is reasonable, assisting you with gathering necessary documentation and clarifying legal statutes that are likely to arise during your sessions. Most mediators actually discourage spouses from bringing lawyers to mediation in an effort to foster cooperation and make sure that the sessions don’t feel confrontational.

Why Divorce Mediation Over a Traditional Divorce?

  • Litigation can take several months or even longer than a year to complete, whereas mediation can finish within a shorter amount of time such as a couple weeks to a couple months. Mediation provides couples with much more control of the process than they’d have in a litigated divorce, particularly when it comes to pace and scheduling.
  • The process is entirely private, while court proceedings become public record.
  • Mediation offers the chance to have more control over the outcome of the divorce. When a litigation occurs, the judge overseeing the case has the final say on every aspect of the divorce order.

What Happens After an Agreement is made?

A mediator can’t formally end your marriage—only a judge can. After you’ve completed mediation and have a marital settlement agreement, a court will review the settlement agreement and issue a final divorce decree. If you’re able to file an uncontested divorce as the result of a successful mediation, the court can finalize your divorce much faster than it would take to litigate the case to the end.

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