Mediation can be an ideal way for a couple that is parting ways to work through unanswered questions outside of a courtroom. Who exactly attends a divorce mediation? First, we’ll provide a brief overview of the process to help you better understand why.
What Exactly is a Divorce Mediation?
In most cases, the divorcing couple will meet together with a mediator to help resolve issues. This is not a legal proceeding, but rather a discussion led by the mediator with the goal of achieving alignment between both parties. Decisions are made around division of assets and debts, custody of children, and child/spousal support.
What are the benefits of Divorce Mediation?
With mediation, you and your spouse can reach decisions together, rather than decisions being made on your behalf by your state’s legal system. That said, you can attend a mediation session with your attorney if you wish. Additionally, this safer space can better facilitate communication and collaboration, resulting in a smoother journey through the legal process that lies ahead.
What Exactly Does the Mediator Do?
The mediator is in some cases an attorney, but this is not always true. Their goal is not to provide advice, but to facilitate amicable discussion that leads to agreed upon decisions about the divorce. For example, they may outline how a certain topic is typically handled to give the couple a foundation to make decisions.
Their goal is the same as that of the divorcing couple, which is to save time, money, and prevent undue emotional stress by avoiding allowing the court system to make the decisions. A mediator will work to ensure the discussion is balanced, so that one party doesn’t overpower the other by taking control of the conversation.
The mediation may occur over several meetings. The initial meeting is focused on identifying the issues that need to be covered. Based on the results, the couple will seek to acquire the necessary documents needed to move the process forward and to begin making decisions.
Finally, a summary of the mediation agreements is compiled and given to legal council to formally draft your settlement.
When to Consider Foregoing Mediation
If your spouse is untrustworthy or has been proven to be deceiving, mediation may not work in your case. If there is any history of violence, emotional abuse, or other controlling behavior, this can be traumatic and disruptive for those affected.
If one party is unwilling to compromise and is convinced things should be hashed out in court, it is unfortunately unlikely that much progress will be made in mediation.
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, both Ben Feldmeyer and Alyssa Miller are trained mediators. We will typically mediate for couples who do not have minor children and are looking for assistance dividing assets and deciding on spousal support. Alternatively, instead of working as your mediator, we can work as your financial advocate, assisting your side exclusively and providing financial advice during mediated negotiations.