Divorce mediation is a method which allows divorcing married couples to meet privately with a neutral third-party, often called a mediator, to discuss and possibly resolve common divorce-based issues. It is less expensive and less traumatic than a lengthy divorce litigation trial, and typically proceeds much quicker. Many people choose to use a mediator when finalizing their divorce because they are better able to communicate and connect with the other side. While not required, a mediator can offer important information and insight into your spouse’s motives, habits, financial situation, or child custody issues. When choosing a mediator, it is important to find one who is experienced in dealing with similar cases and has developed an unbiased approach to resolving the issues at hand.
There are several types of divorce mediation, including confidential, un-confidential, non-adversarial, as well as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). A good mediator helps you navigate the intricacies of each type, helping you arrive at the best solution for your unique needs. However, in litigation situations, it is best to seek the help of an experienced litigation professional, such as an attorney, an elder law practitioner, or a family law attorney. Using a neutral third party will only provide a generic or general overview of your rights and entitlements, allowing your attorney to build on those laws and regulations in your specific case.
There are several benefits to conducting divorce mediation. The primary benefit is that the parties can meet face-to-face and work out an agreement outside of the courtroom. By eliminating the need for a lengthy court proceeding, the cost of a divorce case can be significantly reduced. In addition, divorce mediation often results in less emotional trauma for the spouses involved, because they can address the issues at hand in a safe setting. If you have a good marriage counselor on board, the process will be even less traumatic for you.
When using divorce mediation, both you and your spouse’s attorney will be working towards the same outcome. In fact, most experienced divorce mediators will also work with attorneys. Therefore, you will have someone representing both your interests at the same time. This allows you to benefit from the full range of legal expertise while keeping the cost of litigation at an affordable level.
In addition to having more involved activities than traditional litigation, divorce mediation can be less expensive due to the less complex nature of the process. For example, when you use the services of a neutral third-party, you do not have to worry about hiring additional legal representation. This means that you will have the opportunity to select a divorce mediator on your own preferences. In some cases, divorcing couples choose to use a divorce mediator who represents one side.
However, in other instances, a divorcing couple chooses to use a divorce mediation service whose selection of mediators is based on cost. In these cases, the party who wishes to retain a divorce mediator will pay a flat rate. The divorcing partners then divide up the cost of the divorce mediation between themselves. In this type of situation, it is important for you to realize that the mediators are not there to represent your interests. Rather, they are there to help you and your spouse reach an agreement.
The role of the mediator is more to facilitate an agreement than to actually make one. As a result, you may find that the parties actually accomplish very little through mediation. If at all, mediation might actually produce an outcome that is worse for you than if you had gone to court. For example, if you and your spouse cannot agree on child custody and visitation schedules, you may decide to try the court system. However, by using a mediator, you can obtain a schedule that is much more in your favor. The mediator can inform both you and your spouse of any possible schedule problems so that you can work out an agreement outside of the court system.
Of course, a mediator vs lawyer-driven mediation do have some advantages over litigation. For example, litigation often involves long hours and you and your spouse may not have sufficient time to devote to the proceedings. Moreover, once a dispute has been settled through mediation, both you and your spouse can move on with your lives. By contrast, mediation can be completed within a short period of time and you can resume living the lifestyle you enjoyed prior to the divorce.