Ending a Marriage Through Mediation

The end of a marriage can be a stressful process beset with many negative feelings such as anger, regret and revenge. One option that can provide for a more rational and balanced divorce process is through mediation. Often divorcing couples who use mediation report feeling the divorce agreement was fair and did less damage to the family.

Mediation is a voluntary process that uses an impartial third party, a family mediator with help negotiating issues in a divorce. The mediator helps couples identify, clarify and come to an agreement on property division, spousal support, child support and custody, if applicable. Each parent retains a lawyer during this process, but the goal of everyone involved is to avoid the emotional and financial costs of pursuing divorce in the courtroom. Rather than fighting against each other, the couple can work together to reach agreements.It is not the mediator’s job to resolve problems or force an agreement on the parties. Rather, mediators help the parties come to an agreement by acting as intermediaries. Mediators may offer an opinion or make suggestions but at no time are they allowed to force an agreement upon the parties.

Advantages of Mediation

  • It saves time and money: Mediation shortens the process for the parties and helps minimize the caseload of the family court system
  • It is fair and impartial: The mediator has no interest in the outcome. Because mediators stand to gain nothing, they may be able to see solutions the parties can’t because they are not emotionally invested
  • It is a confidential process: Any notes taken by the mediator are disposed of afterwards
  • It reduces the spouse’s emotional turmoil: Rather than “winning and losing” both sides ultimately reach an agreement
  • It protects the children from being caught in the middle of a public divorce proceeding

Mediation can often be completed over the course of three to four two-hour mediation sessions, spread out over at least a month or two. Divorce settlements agreed to through mediation are enforceable by the courts and often come with a judgment on the public record.

If you are considering divorce, seek out the advice of an experienced family law attorney familiar with the negotiation process. Contact us today for more information.