What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is an alternative way of working through divorce that can save you time and money, and help ease your desire to pull your hair out in frustration. An experienced mediator will guide you and your ex toward an amiable agreement by being a helpful and knowledgeable, yet impartial, third party. Mediators can be useful even after divorce is settled to resolve issues between ex-spouses.
How Does It Work?
The goal of divorce mediation is to settle issues that arise from divorce and separation while diffusing hostile emotions and allowing both parties to speak for themselves. A mediator will guide discussion, keep both parties calm and focused on the task at hand, and draw up a draft of the agreements made. In some cases it may be appropriate for both clients' attorneys to be present at the mediation meetings. Whether your attorney is present or not, you should seek their advice and expertise on the legal consequence of the agreements. Once you work out matters of child support, division of property, parenting time, and other important issues, your attorney will sign and submit your agreement to the courts for approval and legal enforcement.
What are the Benefits?
- Most mediators charge hourly rates that are far less expensive than court fees. There is also no retainer fee up front, so there is little to no financial risk.
- While most traditional divorces take a year or more to finalize, divorce mediation can take as little as 2 to 3 months to settle, depending on the cooperation of the parties involved.
- Mediators are informed and knowledgeable about important legal matters, but are also able to put complicated legal terminology into language everyone can understand.
- Mediators are skilled professionals who are able remain calm and keep heated discussions under control.
- Mediation is beneficial to children because not only will both parents be less hostile and stressed in their every-day life, but children will also see that their parents are able to communicate and work through their differences in a calm and mature fashion. This will teach them important lessons on how to behave in difficult situations with peers.
Is Divorce Mediation Effective?
Mediation is a great way to solve important issues while avoiding the hassle of the courtroom. If you have unresolved issues even after mediation, you can decide to go to court to settle a few minor issues rather than a whole slew of problems that would further delay the legal process.
Knowing what issues are most important to settle in mediation will increase the effectiveness of your meetings. For more information on how to prepare for mediation, click here. (Link to "How Should I Prepare for Mediation?")
Divorce mediation is not a replacement for seeking legal advice from an experienced family law attorney such as Brad Crider of Crider Family Law. Consider consulting with your attorney to find out if divorce mediation is right for you and let Brad begin helping you prepare for divorce mediation today.