For married individuals seeking an amicable divorce, mediation may be quite beneficial. It is a way for individuals to determine the terms of their divorce among themselves rather than having the courts decide.
Before embarking on the process, it is important both parties understand what it entails. There are a few basic concepts to know about divorce mediation.
Mediation is a viable option in many cases; however, it may not be suitable for all divorces. In fact, it is not recommended in divorces where physical or emotional abuse is present. For mediation to be effective, both parties must come to an agreement without one dominating the other, but rather working together. In the case of abuse, mediation may be difficult or inefficient.
During the course of mediation, ex-spouses discuss and solidify the terms of various topics. Some of the most common areas include:
- Child custody
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Property division
These are just a few of the main elements. Depending on the particular situation, there may be additional areas for the parties to discuss.
A mediator serves as a sounding board for both parties throughout the mediation process to aid in reaching an amicable decision. As a neutral third party, the two ex-spouses are able to hash out their discrepancies and make determinations for themselves, rather than receiving a determination from an outside party. Therefore, it is important individuals choose their mediators wisely. Selecting an attorney as a mediator may be quite helpful. Not only is the attorney familiar with the laws, but an experienced attorney will also have some insight into common concerns of a judge, which can help to avoid issues with the courts accepting the petition.
As you can see, mediation can be beneficial but also complex. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the process so you may determine the best path for you.