What Is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation sessions often take place in an informal office setting. In divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a trained, neutral mediator to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce.
Mediators don’t make decisions or offer legal advice, but rather serve as facilitators to help spouses figure out what’s best for their situation. A mediator can help you reach agreement on the issues you and your spouse need to resolve in order to finalize your divorce, such as child custody, child support, and property division.
When spouses reach agreement through mediation, most mediators will draft a divorce settlement agreement.
Lawyers in Divorce Mediation
You have the option of consulting with a lawyer before and after mediation. You don’t have to have a lawyer to participate in mediation. In fact, many mediators discourage having a lawyer present because they’re concerned that the presence of attorneys will create tension.
Why Choose to Mediate Your Divorce?
Mediating your divorce has a lot of advantages over litigating it (fighting it out in court). Although judges often order divorcing couples to participate in mediation before going to trial, you have the option of mediating on your own—either before you file for divorce or at any time after.
- Cost. Mediation is much less expensive than a trial.
- Settling the case. Most mediations end in settlement of all of the issues in the divorce.
- Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential, with no public record of what goes on in your sessions.
- Freedom. Mediation allows you to arrive at a resolution based on your own ideas of what is fair in your situation, rather than having a solution imposed upon you based on rigid and impersonal legal principles.
- Advice still available. You can go to mediation and still choose to have a lawyer give you legal advice.
- Control. You and your spouse—not the court—control the process.
- Communication. The mediation process encourages communication between you and your spouse, helping you avoid future conflicts.