No couple imagines that their marriage will end in divorce, but if it happens, the best way to end things is to do it amicably and stay clear of all the ugly battles to come with divorce. If you and your soon to be ex-spouse cannot agree on who will take what, the best is to involve divorce mediation services. This could be your chance to resolve things without the negative feelings associated with divorce. In this post, we will highlight everything you need to know about the divorce mediating process before you hire a mediator.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative to lengthy court processes where you and your spouse resolve your disputes by inviting a third party to help you work through the divorce. You can have your lawyer present during the mediation.
What Are The Benefits?
Divorce mediation help is less expensive than a court trial where you will need to appear for a series of hearings before the judge gives a verdict. Most mediation ends in settlement of all issues surrounding the divorce where all partners are satisfied to some degree. Let’s be honest; it’s impossible to get full satisfaction. But even then, mediation allows you to come to a solution based on what you feel is fair, rather than have a decision imposed on you.
Another benefit is the privacy offered by mediation. There are no public records of what goes on in any of the sessions, which means you can keep things as low-profile as you would like them to be. Your lawyer can still give you legal advice during the mediation process but have you, and your spouse controls the process. Mediation also helps you resolve communication conflicts, which would hinder future communication with your spouse.
Is Every Couple Eligible For Mediation?
Divorce mediating is a worthwhile process for most couples, but it is strongly advised that you don’t engage if there is domestic violence in the relationship. Some people feel there is a chance of their marriage dynamics being replicated during mediation. However, some feel that mediation will offer a level field and go for it.
It has been common for someone to agree to mediation only for them to delay the process. If you feel that you need cushioning, you can go to court to expedite the process. You can even use mediation later to resolve the rest of the issues.
How to Choose a Mediator
If you have a lawyer, you can ask them to give you a referral. Lawyers will always have references for local mediators. If you are representing yourself, you need to locate a divorce mediator on your own. Your best bet is first to ask a trusted friend or family member. Alternatively, you can check the internet on sites that have referrals to mediators. You can also contact the national mediation, family law organization, and association of conflict resolution. Also, you can call your local community mediation center and ask them to recommend someone.
The Mediation Process
Each mediator will have a different approach, but most tend to move along the same line. You will start with a phone call where you will speak to the mediator or assistance. During the phone call, they will ask you a series of questions to provide background information about your marriage.
You will then attend a first meeting where the mediator will explain the divorce mediating process, and sign an agreement. During this meeting, the mediator will create a rapport to make the three of you comfortable with the process.
Once you are taken through the basics, you will be allowed to give a short statement about your situation. Your spouse will also get a chance.
In the United States, a couple gets divorced every 36 seconds. Divorce is not an easy process, especially if kids are involved. There is so much to put into consideration, and it takes a toll on you emotionally. A divorce mediating process makes things a little more bearable and keeps you in control of what will happen.