Divorce Mediation – What Does It Do?
Mediation is a multi-step interactive process in which an independent third party helps disputing parties resolve conflict through the use of creative negotiation and communication skills. All participants in mediation have the opportunity to actively participate. This process is best suited to individuals who are experiencing a marital conflict or to individuals who are otherwise unable to resolve their own conflicts.
The mediation process begins by the mediator, who may be a neutral third party, such as an attorney, or an appointed individual. The mediator will sit down with both parties to discuss your concerns. In most instances, the mediator will conduct the session with you and your spouse alone. In some cases, it is possible for you and your spouse to meet separately.
During the discussion, both parties are free to speak, respond and ask questions. However, once the mediation has begun, both parties are limited to speaking on only a specified topic. In most cases, this subject will be related to the specific situation at hand. In a divorce, it may be about the division of property, child custody, spousal support and other issues.
The discussion may also include a presentation, usually by a trained professional. This can be a PowerPoint presentation, written report, audio recording or video. The purpose of the presentation is to give both parties the opportunity to understand the issues you have raised and the issues that are impacting your marriage. In some cases, the mediator will also conduct a survey of the spouses’ finances to determine any potential money issues that need to be resolved before the mediation.
If the discussion does not resolve any of the issues, the mediator may ask the couple to meet with an outside attorney for advice on how to proceed. In many cases, both the parties may agree to meet with a lawyer to resolve the issues. At this meeting, the attorneys help both the parties come to a compromise agreement.
If you or your spouse does not reach an agreement during the mediation process, the mediator will provide you with a list of possible options to work toward. The mediator may make recommendations concerning your right to continue living in your home or to stop divorce proceedings. Once the mediation is complete, the mediator can close your case by providing you with a report and recommendations about your case.
If you decide to proceed with a divorce mediation, you may want to hire an attorney. This is often recommended if the marriage has been deteriorating for several years, and/or if there is a history of litigation in your marriage.
The divorce mediation is designed to allow you and your spouse time to come to an agreement without the necessity of going to court. It is also a way to ensure that you and your spouse remain in the marriage and that you have a healthy relationship after the divorce process has concluded. There are numerous benefits to having a divorce mediation in your divorce case, including the elimination of stress and the ability to work together to resolve any financial concerns related to the divorce.
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