Divorce Mediation – How it Works
Divorce mediation is simply a method in which divorcing couples can meet a neutral, objective third-party to discuss, and hopefully reach an agreement on, a variety of divorce-related issues prior to the final divorce proceedings. Mediation is usually less costly and less time-consuming than a lengthy divorce court battle, and it generally goes much quicker. The mediator keeps the divorce proceedings within a specific time frame and works closely with each party to find the best solution. Sometimes an agreement can be reached fairly quickly, but often times a good combination of hard work and patience is required. Divorce mediation may also be the most helpful for couples who are having marital difficulties that could not be handled effectively by a traditional divorce proceedings.
Before entering into a divorce mediation, it is important to remember that each spouse has their own rights and feelings. The mediator cannot give any legal advice, but instead assesses each situation based on personal information from both spouses. A good mediator will listen carefully to both sides of the issue, weigh the facts, and then try to get both parties to find the middle ground. The neutral third party then breaks the information down into a few key areas to help you both understand what needs to be done and what needs to be avoided during the negotiations. Sometimes the discussions go very well, and sometimes they do not. It is up to you to ensure that you fully understand what the mediator is saying, as well as the laws governing divorce mediation in your state.
In some cases, divorce mediation may be an option where there is an uncontested divorce, where one spouse does not wish to proceed with a full-blown divorce proceeding. Typically, couples who are going through a difficult time might benefit from a divorce mediation first, in order to better understand the process, possible outcome, and the time involved in getting divorced. Some couples want the stress and the work involved in a divorce to end once and for all; therefore, they would rather just get it over with and be done with it. However, even if this is not your ideal situation, you should still consider going to mediation because it can offer you some advantages over if you tried to go it alone. The following are just some of the advantages of divorce mediation:
When divorcing couples use divorce mediation to resolve common divorce-related issues, they are able to avoid a long and costly court battle. When couples sit down and mediate, they are able to communicate more effectively, as well as avoiding the costs that can arise from a lengthy court battle. In addition to avoiding the high costs that a lengthy court battle can incur, divorcing couples are also able to save a lot of time. Court proceedings consume a lot of time and divorcing couples are often forced to waste time and money while trying to fight a lengthy court battle.
Another advantage that divorcing couples find when using divorce mediation to settle their disputes is that they receive fair and just treatment. During mediation, both parties are allowed to speak freely, and everyone is allowed to ask questions. For instance, during a custody hearing in a court, the court allows the mother to ask her ex husband questions regarding his visitation rights; however, during a custody mediation, neither party is allowed to ask questions pertaining to the child custody, visitation rights or any other matter relating to the child custody. This helps both parties to present their side of the story and also allows them to concentrate on what is really important: putting an end to the conflict rather than having a lot of unnecessary conversations about things that should be resolved in a court proceeding.
Divorce mediation can be extremely helpful for you as well as your ex-husband or wife. If you are trying to finalize things with your spouse before you actually file for divorce, then going through the process with the help of a divorce attorney may make the proceedings easier on all parties. A divorce attorney will know how to talk to judges in an effort to get a favorable ruling. If you are trying to resolve things on your own, then going through a divorce mediation may make it easier for both parties and even yourself to reach an agreement. Although a divorce attorney may represent you in court, they will not be your legal counsel and therefore it is important to select an attorney who you feel comfortable working with.
The first thing that needs to be decided during mediation is the amount of alimony or custody that each party desires. In most cases, the divorce mediation process takes place between the court house and the attorney that is representing either party. Once an agreement has been reached, one or both parties need to sign the agreement. If there are children involved in the divorce case, then the court house must ensure that all information is given to them in a written statement.
As soon as an agreement has been reached, both spouses will need to attend a court meeting called a “pre-trial conference.” During this time, both parties will have the opportunity to question their attorney regarding any financial information that was shared during the mediation session. It is very important for an attorney to reveal only relevant information, so as to protect the interests of the client. Only once the pre-trial conference is over, can the divorce case to move forward towards a full trial.