Divorce Mediation Basics
Divorce mediation is a problem-solving process that utilizes a neutral third party, called a mediator, to help both parties reach an agreement. Instead of going to court, which is lengthy and expensive, many divorcing spouses choose mediation. Divorce mediators do not represent or have the best interests of a single party but rather works with both parties to resolve disputes on matters such as:
- Equitable distribution of property
- Child custody and support
- Bank accounts
- Parenting a child/children
Divorce mediators do not determine if soon-to-be ex-spouses are making objectively fair decisions on behalf of themselves, each other and their children. Although that would be favorable, that’s not what divorce mediation is about. It focuses on helping spouses create their own plan of action that both sides agree upon, as well as facilitate open communication to help divorcing spouses reach a mutually beneficial resolution. Since no two cases are the same, divorce mediation helps spouses make decisions that work for them, and them alone.
If you’re looking for structure, laws and legal procedures to help resolve your divorce matters, divorce mediation may not be right for you. A skilled divorce lawyer can explain your legal options and help you achieve an outcome that is most favorable to your unique divorce case.
How the Process Works
As mentioned before, no two divorce cases are the same, therefore the divorce mediation process can vary, meaning you may have experiences that other divorcing spouses do not. However, a general outline of the divorce mediation process is as follows:
- The mediator will establish the “ground rules” and lay down their expectations for the mediation session(s).
- Spouses prepare and share statements that contain facts, financial documents and other information relevant to their case.
- The mediator will review both spouses’ documents and arguments, then listen to their needs and interests in achieving a certain outcome.
- Each spouse will go undergo a joint session, private session or both, depending on the case.
- After gathering both spouses’ information and hearing their goals, the mediator will help both spouses negotiate an agreement.
- Once an agreement is drafted, both spouses will share it with their attorneys for review. If their divorce lawyers conclude that the agreement is favorable, they will submit it to the family court for approval.
The steps above are merely an overview of what you may expect from the divorce mediation process. A Columbia divorce lawyer at Masella Law Firm, P.A. can help you understand what you may experience in divorce mediation based on your individual case, and advocate for your best interests to ensure your final agreement is fair and concise. Our mission is to help you secure a resolution that helps you smoothly move forward from your divorce and regain your peace of mind.
To learn more about how our team can represent your divorce case, we welcome you to contact us at (803) 938-4952!