What is Divorce Mediation?
For many couples the decision to divorce can devastate an entire family both emotionally and economically. The process can result in hurt, anger and financial difficulties. In divorce, there are no winners. In some situations, the pain can be lessened by proceeding with Divorce Mediation rather than litigation. Mediation is an approach to divorce that puts the real needs and interests of the children and parents first. Even couples who have not been able to agree on anything find themselves reaching an agreement with the help of trained Mediators. Mediation is driven by the parties and their needs, and allows them to fashion settlements that could not be achieved in the Court process.
How long does mediation take?
Depending upon the complexity of the issues involved, mediation can take as little as a few hours. Of course, where numerous complex issues are involved, the process can take significantly longer. During the mediation process, couples come to an agreement about issues such as child custody, support, and property division. Once the couple has settled all the above-mentioned issues, our office prepares a memorandum of agreement outlining all of the terms that the couple has agreed upon. The clients can take the agreement to their own attorneys for an independent review and/or for the divorce itself.
What are the benefits of a mediated divorce?
More than 95 percent of divorces are ultimately settled by an agreement negotiated by the attorneys for the couple. With mediation, the couple has more control and freedom to determine the issues that are really important to them, and negotiate settlements that address their own specific needs. A mediated divorce can cost less, takes less time and result in less emotional upheaval for the family. Additionally, it promotes communication and cooperation between the parties.
How is the mediation process started?
We provide a consultation for those couples wanting to know more about mediation and divorce. The mediator helps the couple outline the issues that they need to work through, including but not limited to support, custody, visitation, living arrangements, and property division. The mediator helps the parties define their problems, and guides them in developing mutually acceptable solutions. The mediator has no authority to impose a particular settlement. Mediation sessions are then commenced until all issues are resolved and ready to be put into a written agreement.
Is mediation for everyone?
Divorce mediation is a voluntary process and can only be entered into if both parties agree. Additionally, both parties should have realistic expectations about the financial, custody, and visitation arrangements. That is not always possible. Sometimes is one party is inflexible and has a desire for vengeance which interferes with their ability to see what is in everyone’s best interest, or where there are issues of abuse or domestic violence, you may have to proceed unilaterally and sue your spouse for divorce. If you choose to sue your spouse for divorce, our firm will protect your interests in a cost-effective but aggressive manner, while seeking a resolution through agreement whenever possible.