Understanding The Divorce Mediation Process

October 16, 2022

Understanding The Divorce Mediation Process

If you are considering divorce, you should know that there are options other than the adversarial court process. Choosing mediation can allow you and your spouse to experience a less stressful, more amicable divorce settlement. Learning more about divorce mediation might help you decide if this option is suitable for your situation. It is important to note that if you are in any danger at all, divorce mediation is likely not the right option for you and you should seek protection immediately for you and your children. Divorce mediation is typically for spouses that are able to work amicably together and do not have a history of domestic violence.

The attorneys at Johnson Law Group can help you get answers to your questions, and ensure your legal rights are protected both now, and throughout the process of your divorce. Contact our legal team today at (720) 463-4333 or Text-to-Chat (720) 730-4558 to determine if a divorce mediation would be right in your specific circumstance.

The Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is a commonly used method of negotiating a divorce settlement. In divorce mediation, you and your spouse, together with your lawyers, hire an expert called a “mediator.” The mediator, who is a neutral third party, meets with both you and your spouse (along with your attorneys if you are represented by legal counsel) with the goal of discussing and resolving the issues involved in your divorce. The mediator is not there to control your decisions, but he or she works as a facilitator to help you and your spouse come to an agreement that suits you both. Mediation provides several benefits, including the following:

  • It is less expensive than a series of hearings or a trial
  • It often results in a settlement that works for both sides
  • It is a confidential process and involves no public record of your discussions
  • It allows you and your spouse to control the process, instead of the court
  • It may improve communication between spouses
  • It may improve the overall tone of the divorce, making it more amicable and more emotionally healthy for any children involved

While mediation is worth the effort, it is not for everyone. Any relationship which involves domestic violence may need careful consideration before attempting mediation. Mediation can be used to initiate the divorce process, or it may be employed later to work out details about child support and other issues. Mediation is a powerful process and couples who start out with seemingly impossible issues are often surprised at the results mediation can offer.

Learning About the Divorce Mediation Process

Every mediator uses a unique approach, but the following timeline is commonly used in the divorce mediation process.

Contact with the Mediator

The mediator will typically have a phone conversation with both parties, to learn the essential background information about your marriage, children, family, and potential issues of concern.

First Meeting

The first meeting with the mediator will be held in a neutral location, such as a conference room or office. The mediator will talk about how the mediation process works, pass out agreements to sign, and try to make everyone comfortable throughout the meeting.

Starting Mediation

Both parties are allowed to have the chance to state their requests and what they would like regarding the division of marital property, child custody, or child support matters. Each spouse may discuss their expectations, and outline what they are requesting in the divorce process. After both sides have spoken, the mediator may ask some clarifying questions, attempting to understand all of the information given.

Pockets of Agreement

If there are some agreement points between you and your spouse regarding your divorce, these will be highlighted. This recognition creates a favorable foundation to continue with more difficult issues of the divorce agreement.

Determine Additional Areas of Negotiation

Although there are areas of agreement, there will also be issues where you and your spouse disagree, and these issues need more information and negotiation. The mediator may request additional information such as financial records or child custody information, and both parties will bring the requested documents to the following session.

Actual Negotiations

With the simpler and more positive issues out of the way, there is hopefully some trust and communication solidly established. The negotiation stage may cause both parties to feel anxious, but the mediator’s job is to assist the couple and make the process as smooth as possible. The mediator’s role is to encourage areas of agreement and find creative solutions, trying to accommodate both parties. It is crucial for both spouses to listen to one another and be open to compromise.

Final Agreement

When the mediator has covered all points of contention, a resolution will be reached. Financial divisions, parenting plans, and other important issues will be binding on both parties and added to the official divorce document. The results of the mediation will become part of your official, legal divorce settlement.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Hiring a mediator is an excellent option if you believe that you and your spouse are open to the possibility of compromise in the divorce process. If both parties are willing to commit to mediation, it can prove to be a calmer, less expensive process. Contact one of our experienced attorneys at Johnson Law Group to discuss your options and decide if mediation is right for you. Every divorce is unique, and our compassionate and dedicated legal team can help ensure that you make the decisions for your divorce with all answers to all of your questions. Contact us today at (720) 463-4333 or Text-to-Chat (720) 730-4558 to determine if a divorce mediation would be a possible option in your specific situation.

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