If couples are going through a divorce and would like assistance to resolve outstanding issues, they may want to consider mediation. Mediation is a process where both parties meet with a neutral mediator whose goal is to help them find a fair agreement they can both accept. It is intended to be non-adversarial and each party can be represented by their own attorneys.
Mediation can be voluntary or it can be ordered by the court. Before attending mediation, the divorcing couple may want to consider what problems they would like to address.
The mediator does not make decisions for the parties, but the couple will each be able to explain to the mediator what their preferred outcome is. They may need to meet with the mediator several times.
If the couple cannot resolve an issue during mediation, they can request the mediator to provide a written recommendation for resolution. However, the mediator can only make a recommendation if both parties want it.
Benefits of mediation
There are several benefits of mediation. It may resolve a dispute faster than going to court and the couple may have more control over the outcome of their agreement. In addition, while the final judgment becomes public record, the settlement discussions remain private.
Because mediation is a collaborative process, it may benefit the parties’ relationship to work together to find a resolution to the issue, especially if they have children. The mediator may also be able to help the couple discuss parenting time or preferred custody arrangements.
An experienced attorney can assist divorcing couples with questions about mediation and other matters.