The process of divorce is emotionally draining and generally arduous for everyone involved, especially if children are involved or if there are many assets at stake. Making decisions about the children and who will keep what is not as easy as you might think, but you and your spouse know best when it comes to your children and your assets.
This is where mediation comes into play. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) used for many purposes including divorce and child custody.
The way mediation works is:
- The couple chooses a mediator of their choice.
- The mediator meets with both parties (and their attorneys if the parties have them)
- The mediator schedules a session and creates a personalized approach to your mediation.
- At the session, the mediator strategically facilitates a conversation between the parties (or their attorneys) with everyone in the same room, or with one party in one room and the other party in another room and the mediator going back and forth, if necessary.
- The mediator tries to help the parties uncover what is most important to each of them. Often, divorcing couples complicate themselves with small issues. Mediation tries to get the parties to look at the big picture and to define what each party prioritizes above everything else.
- After the priorities have been identified, the mediator assists the parties in reaching a settlement or agreement.
Important facts about mediation
- Mediation gives the parties control over the decision-making process as it relates to their children and their property, but they must act in good faith and understand that no one is going exactly what they want.
- Either party can stop mediation at any time and can go to court if they choose to do so.
Mediation is an exceptional tool for solving disputes between parties who are honest and acting in good faith. In cases where the parties do not get along at all and there is significant tension or anger between them, mediation may not be the best avenue for solving the dispute.
If the parties cannot agree between themselves, a judge can help them by making that decision based on the law, facts and circumstances of the case.
The process of divorce takes a heavy toll on the parties and children, if they have any. In many cases, mediation is highly effective as a form of solving disputes and reaching an agreement. However, there must be civility between the parties and an understanding of what mediation is.