Mediation is a frequently used method when negotiating a divorce.? In divorce mediation, you, your spouse, and your respective lawyers may want to hire a neutral third party; a mediator.? Sometimes, if the divorce is contested, a mediator is ordered by the court.? The mediator does not make decisions for you, but they can serve as a facilitator to help you and your spouse figure out what is best for your situation.
While mediation is worth a try, not every couple will benefit from mediation.? Some couples prefer it, while others prefer to let their lawyers do their negotiating for them.? To make divorce mediation successful, both parties need to show up and be willing to negotiate and be open to compromise.
The Divorce Mediation Process
In the beginning of your divorce mediation process, you will speak with the mediator over the phone to provide background information about your marriage, your family, and the issues that brought you to the decision to divorce.? You will then attend the first meeting, usually in a conference room or private office.? The mediator will explain what you can expect from the process.? You may be asked to sign an agreement stating that you will keep the mediation sessions confidential.? It is strongly advised that your divorce attorney attend the mediation sessions with you.
After the mediator has gone over the basics, you will get a chance to make a statement about your situation, as will your spouse.? The mediator will then ask questions to clarify your statements or to get more information.? The next step is to see where you and your spouse agree and where you disagree.? Once you have established what still has to be worked out, the mediator will present you with a plan on how to accomplish this.
You will most likely need to gather more information for negotiation, especially if you are dealing with property issues and child custody.? You will need to gather all the necessary information and be required to bring it to the next mediation session.? If you are working with an experienced divorce attorney, he or she will be able to help you with documentation.
Negotiating a Divorce Agreement
The mediator may suggest that you deal with more simple issues of your divorce first.? This is often beneficial for building trust and encouraging compromise when it comes to the more difficult issues.? The mediator will help you stay on track through the entire process.? The two most important things you can do to make your mediation a success is to be open to compromise and to really listen to what your spouse has to say and try and understand their point of view.
You may not necessarily agree with your spouse?s position, even if you understand where he/she is coming from, but recognizing their motives may help you to come up with new ideas on how to resolve the situation.? Your efforts in understanding can help lead your spouse to understand your side as well.
Completing the Divorce Agreement
Once your negotiations are compete and you have agreed on a solution, the mediator or one of the attorneys will write an agreement, which may include a parenting schedule or parenting plan.? The documents will be added to the rest of your paperwork and will become part of your divorce judgment.? If either party were to ever sway from the agreement, the court will be able to enforce compliance.
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY BEFORE BEGINNING ANY DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS OR NEGOTIATIONS.