A Divorce Mediator is an independent, neutral, third party who works with your spouse and you to help facilitate a domestic relations agreement. The mediator does not represent either person. The mediator helps your spouse or co-parent and you, the client, talk to one another in constructive terms and construct a settlement that is acceptable to both parties.
Divorce mediators are usually attorneys, financial planners, mental health professionals or other professionals who have specialized training in both divorce and mediation. The mediator’s purpose is to help brainstorm ideas, reframe issues, dialogue effectively, and proactively come up with creative settlements that satisfy both spouse or co-parent and, most importantly, the client’s wants and needs.
Divorce Mediation is a healthy alternative to seeking court intervention. It is not, however, a substitute for going to court, because the mediator is not a judge. A mediator does not have the power to order either of you to do anything. A mediator does not have the authority to grant your divorce. Only a judge can do that. The mediator’s sole job is to help work together to settle your own case in an amicable way so that you can maintain control over the decisions, make decisions that make the most sense for you and your children and take into consideration the individual things that are most important to each person.
For Divorce Mediation to work properly, both parties must agree to the full disclosure of their respective financial information, that is, both parties must produce all the documents that show income, expenses and assets. After full disclosure, the parties will then sit down with the mediator and work to come up with creative options to resolve the remaining issues.
WHY USE DIVORCE MEDIATION?
A Mediator can help your spouse or co-parent and you draw up an agreement that you can both live with. If you could negotiate directly and effectively with your spouse or co-parent, you would not need a Mediator. If you go straight to court, you may not like the judge’s decisions. Mediation allows you to negotiate with your spouse or co-parent in a safe environment. It allows you to be creative with your family’s individualized needs, and it is possible to make deals in mediation that no judge would ever order in court.
Divorce Mediation is usually much faster, less expense and less traumatic than fighting in court. It also affords privacy to the parties, whereas the court system is completely public. Although it is nevertheless a difficult process, mediation causes less wear and tear than lengthy litigation, and allows clients to have a greater measure of control over the decisions which will affect not only their personal and family life, but their immediate and long-term futures as well