Divorce mediation can help couples avoid the stress, cost and time involved with a lengthy court battle. With this process, a professional mediator facilitates a negotiation between the spouses and their attorneys.
Learn what to expect during mediation and the advantages of this technique.
The mediation process
Mediation can take place either in an office setting or virtually. The mediator will introduce each important issue and give each party a chance to voice his or her preferences and concerns. He or she will attempt to identify common ground and areas where the spouses can seek compromise. The mediator does not offer legal advice to either party, but can answer questions about state laws governing marital debt, property division, child custody, visitation and child support.
Ideally, at the end of the mediation session, the couple will reach a divorce agreement that serves the interests of both parties. However, couples are under no obligation to reach an agreement in mediation. When this process does not succeed, the spouses must proceed to a divorce hearing where the judge will make a decision about the outstanding issues.
Benefits of mediation
Mediation can help spouses put their difficult emotions aside and begin to forge a path to a happy, healthy future. Separating decades of shared property and learning to coparent after divorce can be challenging without the input of a neutral party.
During the mediation process, the mediator helps ensure that both parties have a voice during the process. Otherwise, the judge may create a legally binding divorce agreement that fails to satisfy either spouse.