Divorce mediation is a formalized process in which both parties agree to work with a mediator to resolve property and support issues while allowing the divorce itself to be settled out of court. The primary benefit of hiring a family law mediator is that it allows divorcing couples to come up with solutions they would not have come up with on their own. The process allows divorcing couples to remain in control of the divorce, rather than allowing a judge to make hard-to-undo decisions for them (such as who gets primary custody).
What Are the Principal Steps in The Divorce Mediation Process?
The first step is to meet with your family law mediator and sign mediation agreements. You will then work on developing an agreement that covers all the issues related to your divorce, including division of property and debts, child custody and support, parenting time, spousal support (if applicable), health insurance for children, life insurance naming children of the marriage as beneficiaries, tax deductions for dependents on each parent's income tax return, and any other relevant issues.
What Is the Family Law Mediator's Role?
The family law mediator is someone who is trained to help resolve conflicts, but they do not have any authority to impose a decision. The mediator is the person you talk to, and they never represent either party in a divorce.
The mediator's job is to help you communicate clearly about what is important (and not) in the divorce process and put an end to gridlock by listening neutrally, bringing out underlying interests and needs, and getting to the heart of the matter. Simply put, the mediator's job is to serve as a neutral party who helps inform you of your rights under the law and guides you through the process.
What Is the Role of a Neutral Evaluator During Divorce Mediation?
A neutral evaluator is a person who has expertise in family law and child development but does not represent either party. While the family law mediator facilitates negotiations between parties, neutral evaluators make recommendations about parenting time arrangements, custody issues, and other family law matters.
What Is Mediation Confidentiality?
Mediation confidentiality is when everything discussed within the mediation session is confidential, unless you agree otherwise. The family law mediator may choose to keep a journal of the sessions or have each party sign an attendance sheet if they are present for all or part of the mediation process. It may also be possible to verify that you met with your mediator by checking court records.
Divorce mediation is a process where divorcing parties and their respective counsel agree to use an impartial third party (the family law mediator) to assist them in reaching a mutually-agreeable settlement of issues, such as visitation, child custody, child support, and property division.
Contact a company like Lerner Conflict Resolution Center to learn more about divorce mediation.