Divorce mediation is a voluntary process intended to help divorcing spouses resolve their disputes without resorting to litigation. A neutral third-party mediator facilitates a productive dialogue between the parties with the goal of reaching a final agreement. The issues discussed during mediation can be very broad and address a wide variety of matters such as:
- How will you divide your marital assets?
- Who will pay marital debts?
- What is in your children’s best interests in terms of custody, visitation, and decisions about their education, healthcare, and religious upbringing?
- When will you and your spouse have parenting time with your children?
- What are the laws regarding child support, and how will your children’s expenses be shared?
- Can you support your children through the divorce and afterwards?
- What are the laws regarding spousal support, and how much must be paid, if any?
- How can you legally separate and when should you do it?
- Any other issues that are unique to you and your spouse, or your children.
The goal of mediation is to help the parties discuss all issues and resolve all disputes. However, even if only some of the issues discussed are settled between the parties, it can still be beneficial. The more the parties can agree on during mediation, the less that will have to be decided by a judge.
While mediation can take time, it is typically much faster than litigation. The process is designed to give the parties the opportunity to discuss concerns in depth and negotiate in a respectful, organized, and structured fashion. It also allows the parties flexibility to decide how often they want to meet and what they want to discuss. The parties can determine what is best for them and their children together, which minimizes the stresses that the children will feel and provides a framework for successful co-parenting after the divorce. Sometimes agreements come easy, sometimes they take time and a lot of work. However, the right mediator can help ensure success by managing the process, keeping the lines of communication open, assisting the parties with brainstorming ideas, and reality testing all options.
If you are considering divorce, contact us to discuss whether mediation is the right option for you.