What Is Divorce Mediation?
A separation often generates feelings of resentment and anger, but prolonged emotional conflict often makes divorce more costly. If you and your partner are no longer able to communicate effectively, you can benefit from divorce mediation. A mediator is unbiased, calm, and able to understand the dynamic between you and your spouse. He or she will act as your advocate in negotiations with your divorce lawyer, making sure that both of you get what you want. Divorce mediation also helps you avoid expensive divorce court proceedings that can be draining on your resources and emotions.
Mediation usually lasts about an hour, depending on the attorneys and the spouse or partners. When considering whether mediation is a good option, it’s important to assess whether you and your spouse can have a meaningful conversation that does not focus on the negativity surrounding the divorce. Typically, couples enter divorce mediation with an agreement regarding child support and/or custody; however, some couples cannot agree. If the parties cannot agree, then one of the spouses must hire a third party, such as a psychologist or other counselor, to facilitate the discussion. In most states, the spouses must resolve all issues through legal procedures before a final divorce settlement is reached.
Mediation does not address the actual divorce proceedings. Instead, the mediator facilitates communications between the divorcing couple so that they can find constructive ways to resolve their differences. Divorce mediation is conducted by licensed and professional counselors and psychologists. If the attorneys and/or the mediator do not have experience dealing with your specific issues, they may not be effective in helping you resolve your problems.
Many couples who use divorce mediation successfully manage to work out a more affordable settlement because they are better able to communicate with one another. For example, if one of the spouses hires a lawyer, the spouses can spend thousands of dollars in legal fees, which often ties up assets and financial resources for the other spouse. A mediated settlement avoids this need for many couples. The process allows both individuals to speak openly and honestly about the matters at hand, rather than being subject to the trial-court proceedings.
The cost of divorce mediation depends on the attorneys and the nature of the case. For a simple divorce, the legal fees will usually be borne by the divorcing couple. However, it is also possible that the mediator’s hourly rates will be paid by one of the parties. This could mean a saving to the other spouse if the litigator’s hourly rates are lower. It is also possible that both parties could pay for the services of a divorce mediation attorney if they wish to pursue this route.
When divorce mediation is used instead of a full trial, the litigation typically stops after the initial paperwork has been filed and discovery has been made. Once the parties have reviewed their documents together, they will be able to determine if a trial is warranted. If not, the parties may come to an agreement regarding the division of child custody (which is also referred to as shared custody). They will work out a schedule of visitation and may make alternative arrangements for a child custody schedule to coincide with the schedule established during mediation.
Child custody issues can be complex. In most cases, mediation is the best method for ensuring that children are best met. Through this process, an experienced professional will be able to guide both parents through the process of child custody and visitation, allowing both individuals and their ex-spouse to focus on their individual goals for their children. It is also possible that the ex-spouse may agree to continue with the parenting plan that was agreed upon during divorce mediation, without seeking to take full legal and physical custody of the children.
Divorce mediation is a helpful process that can help couples working towards amicable outcomes. It allows both parents the opportunity to communicate with each other, which is important in developing a meaningful parenting plan. This type of mediation is very useful for divorcing couples who are unable to meet in a regular manner. By using divorce mediation, divorcing couples can work toward resolving their child custody and visitation issues without taking the case to court.