Divorce mediation is among the most commonly used method of negotiating a divorce resolution. In divorce mediation, you or your spouse, or in many cases both of you, and your respective attorneys or a neutral third person, called a mediator, meet with you in an attempt to discuss and possibly resolve all of your divorce-related issues. This process often results in a satisfactory resolution to these issues. Mediation generally is conducted through the services of an impartial third-party mediator. Although not required, most mediators charge a fee for their services.
During mediation, each of you considers the needs of the other; you also evaluate your own needs and feelings about the matter. The goal of this process is for you to come to an agreement about matters relating to your divorce settlement without having to go to trial. By negotiating through mediation, both you and the other spouse are able to concentrate on what is important to you most at the present time, rather than having to get to trial and deal with potentially multiple issues that you may not have been able to resolve prior to the mediation. Because everyone in this situation is emotionally charged, divorce mediation is much less contentious than going to court and trying to reach an agreement via the court system. For these reasons, many people prefer to use divorce mediation as their method of negotiating or agreeing upon matters regarding their divorce settlement.
Before proceeding with the mediation process, you will need to make sure that the attorney or the mediator that you are considering is board certified. In most states, board certification means that the individual has passed a standardized test regarding negotiations and arbitration. In addition to having successfully completed the training that is necessary for divorce mediation, an individual should be well versed in the laws that apply to your state. A divorce attorney that is not board certified will not be able to give you the best advice or lead you toward a solution that is best for you. For this reason, it is very important that you make sure that your divorce attorney has undergone professional training and board certifications in negotiations and divorce mediation.
Mediation can be very beneficial if you are having a contested divorce. If there are a number of issues that you wish to discuss, or if there are concerns about a potential asset allocation, there may not be a need to go to trial. In this case, the use of a divorce mediation agreement could be the best option for you. However, if there are concerns about the potential effectiveness of a mediation agreement, you may wish to proceed with a full-blown negotiation or trial.
One of the benefits of divorce mediation is that it is possible to negotiate a settlement that benefits both parties. If you and your spouse are not able to agree on child custody or other areas of the settlement, it is often possible to divide the settlement into equal increments. You do have the choice, however, of allowing your spouse to be the “mediator” and choosing whether or not to make a settlement agreement. In some cases where the two parties do come to an agreement on all aspects of the case, then a divorce mediation can also be used as a way to expedite the case.
Another benefit of divorce mediation allows you to gain a better understanding of what divorce proceedings might entail. Often, it is difficult for individuals to understand how a judge or court will look at their situation. Court proceedings can be highly emotional and complex and it is very easy to get yourself emotionally involved. Divorce mediation allows you the opportunity to take control of the process and to ask questions. This will allow you to better understand what you are dealing with and how your divorce will be ordered if you go to trial.
Divorce mediation also allows you the opportunity to decide whether or not to take control of the situation. If you choose to do so, then your divorce mediation professional will give you the opportunity to make decisions that are in your best interest. These decisions may include your child custody, visitation rights, spousal support, and the division of property. However, it is important to note that if you agree to participate in a divorce mediation, then you are giving up the right to a trial. Many people believe that a trial will allow them to learn more about the facts surrounding their case and help them strategize an appealing case.
It is important to remember that before you begin your mediation process, you must first have a divorce attorney who is willing to do the same for you. Divorce attorneys specialize in representing clients who are in need of do-it-yourself divorce, or who have other complicated issues that they need to represent themselves. Therefore, if you choose to proceed with a do-it-yourself divorce, it is important that you find an attorney who is willing to do the same. A lawyer is often less expensive when you do have to pay for a divorce mediation.