What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process in which the parties, with the assistance of a mediator, directly negotiate a settlement of all issues. A Mediator is a trained, neutral third party who will assist you and your spouse in communicating with one another, working out issues, and ultimately reaching an agreement that each of you can support. Mediation can be used to settle matrimonial matters as well as to develop a custody and parenting plan.
Why Choose Mediation?
Mediation is less costly than traditional litigation. Since the parties are paying only one neutral mediator instead of two litigators, the cost is reduced. Also, the time involved in mediation is usually a fraction of the time necessary to complete traditional litigation. Mediation is less stressful. There are no tense court appearances, no waiting for a Judge to decide the outcome of a motion or waiting for a decision after a divorce trial. Instead, the parties sit together and make a parenting plan, support and asset and debt distribution plan. Mediation allows couples to resolve issues without the need to become involved in costly, time consuming and stressful litigation.
Mediation allows each spouse the opportunity to discuss all issues of disagreement and to explore all possible solutions.
Because alternatives are discussed, proposals made and unworkable solutions are immediately modified into a workable solution or discarded, mediation can often achieve results much quicker than when each party is represented by an Attorney.
Mediated agreements are usually challenged less frequently because people often find it easier to maintain an agreement that they themselves have negotiated, rather than one that is ordered by a Judge.
Individuals who have participated in Mediation on previous occasions are much more likely to attempt to resolve any issues which may arise in the future through negotiation rather than immediately commencing litigation.
How Mediation Works?
Each party will be given an opportunity to discuss the issues to be resolved, to negotiate and propose alternatives for resolution. The Mediator is a neutral third party who will assist you by listening and asking questions in order to better understand the issues. The Mediator will not advocate for one position over another, place blame or attempt to convince one party to accept or reject the proposal of the other party.
It is not necessary that the parties be on friendly terms in order to utilize Mediation. All that is required is willingness on the part of you and your spouse to “come to the table” and try to work out a resolution. When and if conflict arrives, the Mediator is trained in helping you work through the conflict to arrive at a workable solution.
After you have reached a resolution of all the issues, a written agreement will be prepared and executed.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
Mediation sessions are usually two hours in length and depending on your own individual circumstances generally 2-8 sessions are needed to resolve all issues. Obviously, each couple is unique and therefore vary in the time it takes to complete the process
How Much Does Mediation Cost?
While each mediation case is unique, the cost of mediation is usually significantly less expensive then litigation. The average cost of mediation is approximately $3,000, but depends on the needs and complexity of each case.