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What is divorce mediation?

On Behalf of | Sep 25, 2023 | Collaborative Law

Divorce is a challenging and emotionally charged event. The process is filled with complexities, from determining the division of assets to figuring out the parenting plan for any children involved. Many couples opt for divorce mediation to find middle ground.

Mediation is essentially about communication and negotiation. It offers a platform where both parties can discuss and decide on the terms of their divorce. Instead of presenting their cases in court and waiting for a judge’s decision, they are guided by their attorneys and a neutral third-party mediator who helps them reach a consensus.

What issues are addressed during mediation?

In mediation, almost every facet of a divorce can be discussed. Whether a couple is dividing properties, setting alimony amounts or establishing parenting plans, it’s a space where both parties can express their concerns and wishes. Since the mediator doesn’t enforce any decisions but facilitates dialogue instead, there’s a lot of room for creativity and customization in the approaches that can be embraced during this process. Mediation allows for adaptability. Unlike court rulings which might be rigid, mediation gives couples the freedom to craft agreements that work with their unique situations.

How does the negotiation take place?

The mediator, while neutral, helps to ensure that discussions remain constructive and amicable. They are not in the room to pick sides or enforce decisions, but rather to guide the conversation, probing with questions and providing insights when necessary. Mediators are flexible in their approach. They can work with both spouses in the same room, fostering direct communication. If tensions are high and direct interaction might be counterproductive, the mediator can act as a go-between, communicating with each spouse in separate rooms. This ensures that the mediation process can progress productively even if emotions run high.

What if an agreement isn’t reached?

Mediation doesn’t always conclude with a resolution. If couples can’t reach a consensus, they can pursue traditional litigation. This typically takes longer and is more costly than going through mediation but it is sometimes necessary. Those who are interested in attempting to avoid litigation, however, can benefit from seeking legal guidance to determine whether mediation may be an opportunity worth pursuing.