You don't want to jump into divorce mediation until you know exactly what the process entails. While there are sure to be surprises and challenges along the way, the more information you have up front, the better off you'll be.
How does a mediator help?
The first thing to understand is that a mediator is trained to help you resolve your issues, such as those associated with property division, child support and child custody. However, this person is not a judge, so they don't have the legal authority to make final decisions.
Some of the tasks you can expect your mediator to complete include:
- Facilitate communicate between both individuals
- Ask questions to ensure that both individuals understand what's being discussed
- Ask individuals to explain their stance or point in greater detail when necessary
- Share information on the legal system, such as what happens if you're unable to find common ground in mediation
What happens during mediation?
No two mediation sessions are the same, so there's no way of knowing exactly what to expect. Here's a basic outline of how things will play out:
- First meeting: Both individuals, along with their legal team, will meet with the mediator to identify the issues at hand. It's important to share all your concerns during this meeting, as it sets the table for what's to come.
- Additional meetings: There's no way of knowing how many additional meetings are necessary, as it depends on your ability to negotiate and compromise. These meetings typically last one to two hours.
- The final agreement: If you're able to reach an agreement on all issues, the mediator can draft an agreement. You and your legal team can review the agreement, ask questions and request any necessary changes.
Do you have to spend time in court?
One of the biggest benefits of divorce mediation is that you don't have to appear in court. If you're able to reach an agreement on all issues in mediation, there's no need to meet in court to discuss anything else.
The mediator can file the necessary documents with the court, which will put the final wheels in motion.
You never know exactly what to expect out of divorce mediation, but you should realize that it can help you work through your disagreements and finally put an end to your marriage.