Mediation is an effective alternative to court divorce proceedings. In some cases, such as high-net-worth divorces, mediation is especially beneficial.

For those individuals deciding whether to utilize mediation, it is important to understand what it entails. There are a few key aspects of mediation to be aware of.

Role of mediator

The role of a mediator is to aid in dissolving a divorce as a non-biased third party. This party does not make any decisions but rather helps the two individuals to come to agreements amongst themselves, rather than have a judge make the decisions for them. Mediators must follow Michigan’s mediator standards of conduct, which has strict regulations, so parties should select a mediator wisely.

Benefits of mediation

There are a few different benefits to choosing mediation. Simply removing a court hearing helps to decrease the cost of the divorce significantly. Not only does a mediator help to reduce the cost, but mediation tends to speed up the process as well. It also allows individuals to maintain control of the division of assets. This may be particularly intriguing for parents; mediation provides a way for them to determine a parenting plan themselves rather than the court judging their parenting skills and possibly instituting unfavorable parenting time judgments.

Process

Depending on the circumstances, the court may require that parties try mediation before embarking on a court hearing. Other times, individuals may request mediation before the hearing. Either way, both parties come together and try to negotiate the division of their marital assets. The mediator is able to guide this negotiation process to ensure the couple addresses all mandatory assets. Once the mediation process is complete, the courts review it, and if they approve, it becomes legally binding. Should changes become necessary down the road, a party may file a request for adjustments.

This is a brief overview of key mediation aspects. If you are contemplating mediating your divorce, consider consulting with a mediator beforehand to determine if it is right for your particular situation.