Marriage dissolution does not have to involve bitter litigation over child custody or asset division where relationships with children and ex-spouses are damaged. The mediation process provides an alternate method for resolution of domestic disputes. The mediator, through training and specialized knowledge, facilitates the parties in addressing all of these matters. Mediation is a collaborative process that promotes healthy interactions between the parties. Working cooperatively, mediation participants find common ground for creating mutually beneficial agreements.
What is a Mediator?
A mediator is a neutral third party who has no stake in the outcome of the dispute and no decision-making authority other than on how the process is carried out. The mediator does not take sides or render a decision. She helps the parties identify the issues in conflict and helps them to develop and consider options for resolution. She clarifies and organizes details, prompts discussion and cooperative communication and encourages creative problem-solving. Through divorce mediation, the parties can create an agreement that settles the major issues involved in dissolving a marriage, including child custody, parenting plans and dividing marital assets and debts. The agreement represents the interest of both parties, and an agreement that is fair to both parties and to their children.
1. Empowers all parties
You − not the mediator or judge − determine the outcome.
2. Reduces hostility and tension
Mediation reduces the hostility, tension and misunderstandings that are ordinarily experienced when people are engaged in conflict.
3. Promotes communication
Parties learn how to communicate with each other about difficult, sensitive issues in a non-threatening and non-accusatory manner. Their improved communication skills set a pattern for future interactions and problem solving.
4. More affordable and time-saving
When compared to traditional litigation, family mediation will help you save time and money. Resolutions can be achieved within hours or weeks, rather than months or years. There are far fewer expenses and many of them can be shared. Mediated divorces have a higher rate of compliance than litigated settlements and court orders.
The Mediation Process
The mediation process usually takes 3 - 6 sessions. I will help identify the relevant issues by taking the couple through a step-by-step process that addresses each issue in turn, including real and personal property, division of asset and/or liabilities, child support, spousal maintenance, tax considerations, child custody, and parenting responsibilities. Once a settlement is reached, an agreement may be drafted and an uncontested divorce can be filed with the court. No court appearance is needed.