Divorce Mediation FAQs

Answers to these Frequently Asked Questions are provided by the partners of www.yourdivorceprofessionals.com.

Why Should I Consider Mediation For My Divorce?
Mediation allows separating and divorcing couples to be in charge of planning their own lives and provides them an environment that is conducive to make good decisions about their future. It is especially beneficial for parents, who though separating, will need to continue making joint decisions about their children well into the future. The decision-making process learned in mediation can serve as a model for future communications. In addition, mediated settlements have a consistently higher compliance rate because the participants have created their own agreements.

Is Mediation Cheaper Than Using Lawyers To Handle A Divorce?
Typical divorce costs can run between two to five times higher than the cost of mediation. Also, keep in mind that “cost” also includes emotional cost to the participants and their children who go through a litigated divorce. This emotional cost is greatly reduced by the mediation process.

How Long Does Mediation Take?
The length of the mediation is determined by: 1) the complexity of the issues, 2) the emotional readiness of the parties, and 3) the ability of the participants to be flexible as they negotiate a fair and equitable agreement. Every case is different, but the average case usually takes between three to four two-hour mediation sessions. More complex cases can take longer to complete.

What If My Case Is Too Complicated For Mediation?
No case is too complicated to be settled using mediation. As needed, mediation participants may consult with additional experts such as accountants, appraisers, financial planners and attorneys. These experts may also participate in mediation sessions.

What If Our Divorce Is Extremely Adversarial?
Although many mediating couples are amicable and work well in mediation, there are also many couples who are very emotional about the divorce and don’t think they can negotiate face to face. Qualified mediators are equipped to assist couples who may struggle in dealing with their emotions but who still would like to work things out peacefully and avoid the court system.

What Does The Mediator Do?
A mediator is a neutral party specially trained to help couples resolve the issues in their divorce. The mediator facilitates the communication between the parties by making sure each party is given an uninterrupted time to speak, asking a party to restate or explain a point when necessary, and asking questions to make communication clear. This results in: 1) a productive discussion of the issues, 2) understanding of each other’s concerns and needs, 3) the generation and consideration of creative options. The mediator is not the decision maker, instead leads the parties through a process that empowers them to make their own decisions.

Is Mediation Confidential?
Yes. State law says that no one, not even the two parties, can use what is said in mediation as evidence in court. What happens in mediation is as confidential as settlement negotiations between lawyers and their clients. At the beginning of the mediation sessions each participant signs an agreement to mediate. This agreement creates an environment of confidentiality conducive to open an honest dialogue that is necessary to build mutually beneficial and lasting agreements.

Is There A Custody Arrangement That Reduces Conflict In The Future?
Yes; the arrangement that the two of you build together. A divorce only ends the marital relationship. The parenting relationship remains and often requires a significant amount of effort in order to be successful after the divorce is final. As parenting partners you must be able to communicate and cooperate with each other about the children. A custody award cannot possibly address all of the parenting issues which impact your children’s well-being. It is in your and your children’s best interests to minimize future stress by creating a comprehensive parenting plan that proactively addresses potentially volatile parenting issues. Examples include: holiday transfer times, transfer logistics, parental communication, first rights of refusal, enrollment in and payment for extra-curricular activities, vacations and travel, re-marriage, residential moves, and so on.

Do Mothers Have Greater Custody Rights?
Rather than seek to prove that one parent is better than the other, it is critical to recognize that both parents are important in the life of the children. You are the experts about your life and your children. You are the best qualified to make decisions about how to restructure your family and parenting time after divorce. Mediation will help you evaluate and discuss parenting time options and make child-focused decisions about how each of you will remain significantly involved with your children.

How Do I Get Started With Divorce Mediation?
The best way to get started is for you and your spouse to attend a free one-hour consultation. During the consultation you will receive detailed information about mediation and how the process would work in your unique situation. Perhaps most importantly, you will each have the opportunity to meet your mediator and establish a level of comfort with these professional services.

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