If you decide that you want to get a divorce, one of the things you’ll need to do is to go through mediation. In most cases, courts won’t want to take your case unless you’ve tried to go through mediation first. Mediation is nonbinding, but it may help you resolve at least some of your divorce disputes before heading to trial.
Divorce mediation is usually less stressful, less time intensive and less expensive than going to trial, which is why it can be a good option for people as they begin the process of divorcing. Mediation is also private, which allows you to keep more of your divorce discussions out of the public eye.
What should you expect during mediation?
If you go into divorce mediation, you should expect to sit down with your spouse and both of your attorneys. You’ll also meet with a third-party mediator who will be there to guide discussions and help you stay on task. They’ll be able to talk to both you and your spouse about what certain decisions may do for you in the future and clear up any misconceptions about the law that you may have.
Since mediation is not usually binding, you should be aware that any decisions made still have to be submitted to the court for approval. This is unlike arbitration or trial, where a decision is final. The benefit of this is that mediation is less stressful, because you have nothing to lose by attempting to negotiate and resolve your divorce outside court.
Whether you’re at odds over spousal maintenance, parenting time concerns, child support, the division of your property and assets, or other critical issues, going through mediation may be helpful in resolving those issues or reducing the number of conflicts that you have to take to trial.
Understanding the benefits of mediation and what to expect will help you prepare. Being willing to negotiate and work together to resolve your divorce may help you save time and money while keeping this sensitive time in your life more private than if you were to go to trial.