Mediation empowers separated and divorced spouses to plan their own lives and make sound decisions about their futures. Mediation’s decision-making process can be used as a model for future communications. You and your spouse, together with your family law attorneys will meet with the mediator during the divorce process. A mediator is a third party who acts as a neutral third party and is generally a retired judge or an attorney. If you are successful to resolve your dispute, you may sign a mediated agreement or a mediated settlement agreement.
The goal of mediation is to go through the difficulties that must be resolved to terminate your marriage pleasantly and cost-effectively.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative conflict resolution approach that removes the full court litigation procedure, allowing the parties to take control of their divorce. They assume command of the decision-making process. It’s a neutral setting with a facilitator, effectively a mediator, who sits down with the parties and assists them in facilitating talks about their concerns. Distribution of Property (Assets/Liabilities), Child Custody and Parenting Time, Child Support/Maintenance, Retirement, Taxes, and many other topics are addressed. The good news is that the parties decide on the issues; they are in charge. They make concessions; they decide on the final parameters of their deal. And they don’t entrust such judgments to a judge who knows very little about this specific family.
How is the Process?
The couple and the mediator meet in a series of mediation sessions, which are typically one to two hours long.
First meeting: The couple and the mediator decide which problems in the divorce case need to be handled and in what sequence, and then decide what information needs to be gathered and exchanged. Between the first and subsequent sessions, the couple collects all relevant financial data or, if required, the views of professionals such as appraisers or accountants, with this information addressed with the same attention and concern as in the adversarial process.
Additional Meetings: Discussions focus on how to reach a compromise on numerous topics to fulfill the needs of both sides. The mediator aids by giving information about the court system and standard methods for resolving divorce disputes.
The Agreement: Once all concerns resolve, the mediator prepares the agreement for both parties and their attorneys to examine.
The After Process
Most mediators will produce a formal settlement agreement after successful mediation in which the couples achieve agreement on all matters in their divorce.
Once the couples have reached an agreement in writing, they can apply for an “uncontested” divorce. Uncontested divorces are generally finalized considerably faster than disputed cases, which might take a year or more to complete.
In some cases, couples resolve just part – or none – of their divorce-related concerns through mediation. In that case, the spouses must either reach an agreement or go to court to resolve the remaining difficulties.
Ward K Johnson Law Firm has a team of the best and experienced family lawyers. Get in touch with our attorneys to discuss your case and get your questions answered.