Once you decide to divorce, you should learn as much as you can about mediation. You may assume that litigation is the only way to resolve your problems, but this isn't always the case.
With the right approach to divorce mediation, you may find yourself moving through the process in an efficient and productive manner.
How a mediator will help
A family law mediator is not the same as a judge. Instead of making final decisions, this person is staffed with the responsibility of facilitating communication to make sure each individual is in position to make informed decisions.
The mediator can also provide information on the legal system as a whole, however, they will not provide either individual with legal device.
How the process unfolds
With divorce mediation, you can expect each session to last somewhere between one and two hours. You, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and the mediator will be present at all sessions. Also, you have the right to work closely with an attorney during this process, so you may want to have this person present as well.
During the first meeting, you'll work with the mediator to create a list of issues to discuss and resolve. This is the best time to lay everything out on the table, so don't hesitate to share all your thoughts.
Subsequent meetings are all about discussing the issues at hand, working through the negotiation process and reaching a final agreement on all fronts.
The filing of divorce documents
If you're able to work everything out in mediation, the mediator, if the person is an attorney, can assist with filing the necessary paperwork with the court.
One of the biggest benefits of mediation is the fact that you don't have to spend any time in court. There is no way of knowing if divorce mediation will work, but it's something that can save you both time and money.
Some people are able to reach a final agreement after a couple of sessions. Other realize it will take much longer, often because they have a more complex situation regarding property division, child support and other related issues.
Knowing what to expect during divorce mediation is half the battle. Once you have this knowledge, you can focus on your legal rights and the process itself.