During divorce mediation, spouses meet with a neutral third party to determine issues, such as how to divide property, spousal support and child custody. The spouses, rather than the court, structure their own settlement. Divorce mediation can save time and money—and give spouses more control over the outcome.
Generally speaking, a mediated divorce has a shorter timeline than a contested or litigated divorce. In mediation, the spouses have more control over scheduling meetings, while in a litigated divorce, the court availability sets the time frame.
Mediated divorces also tend to be less expensive. In contested divorces, spouses are each paying attorney fees to resolve issues. In both types of divorces, there are often appraisal costs and other professional fees.
Many spouses find mediation appealing because they determine the outcome of property, spousal support and child custody issues, rather than a judge,
How is Mediation Done?
Mediation may be virtual or in-person. It may consist of the two spouses and a mediator, or it may also include each spouse’s attorney. The mediator, a neutral third party trained in divorce mediation, helps with communication, and encourages each spouse to think about different options for resolutions. However, the mediator does not make decisions. The number of meetings with the mediator varies depending on the people involved and the number of issues to be resolved.
When is Mediation a Good Solution?
Mediation is a good solution when both people are still able to communicate and both parties are willing to be open and honest about the data.
If there is significant conflict, one person is bullying the other, there is a history of domestic violence, or one person is inflexible, then mediation may not be the best fit.
Both parties also must be open and honest about their financial assets, debts, income and expenses. This means they must be willing to provide bank and financial statements, credit card statements, loan and debt information, and other data that the mediator requests. If a spouse is believed to be hiding assets or is being dishonest, then divorce mediation may be challenging or potentially not a viable solution.
Do all Issues Have to be Resolved in Mediation?
Not all issues may be resolved during mediation. However, the more both parties can resolve on their own, the less they are leaving less up to the court system to decide. For instance, the parties may agree on how to divide the financial assets but are unable to agree on spousal support therefore leaving that decision up to the attorneys to negotiate or ultimately, the court to decide. The parties would still save time and money and have more control over the outcome by going through the mediation process.
Learn More about Mediated Divorces
To learn more about whether a mediated divorce is right for you, talk to one of our experienced mediators today. The decisions you make during this process can affect your financial future for life. To schedule your complementary initial consultation with our certified experts, call us at 937-471-4654.