If you’re like most people going through a divorce, you’ve heard of mediation – but what is family law mediation, and how does it work?
What is Family Law Mediation?
Family law (divorce) mediation is a process that involves the two parties to a divorce and a qualified, trained mediator. It’s voluntary, and the whole premise is that it’s non-adversarial. That means you and your spouse aren’t pitted against each other in a battle; you’re working together through another person to reach fair and equitable agreements that are best for your whole family in the long run.
Benefits of Family Law Mediation
As a form of alternative dispute resolution, family law mediation has several benefits to the parties involved. First, and sometimes most importantly, it saves time and money. The hours you spend mediating can help eliminate litigation in court – which costs you on both ends. Because mediation works quickly to cut to the heart of the matters you’re most interested in settling, and because it’s confidential and private, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are free to work out your disagreements without dragging everything into the courtroom. It can alleviate a lot of stress, too, which will enable you to make better choices for yourself and your children.
How Does Family Law Mediation Work?
Mediation sessions are held in a neutral place, like the mediator’s office or another private spot. Both parties to the divorce and the mediator attend. In some cases, everyone’s in the same room, but in others – particularly when tensions are running high – each party is in a separate room.
The mediator will explain the ground rules and let you know that everything that you say is confidential. If you’re together in the same room, the mediator will dive right in; if not, he or she will also provide the same information to your spouse.
Then, the mediator will guide the discussion toward the first issue. You’ll each account your side of the story and explain your proposed solution, which the mediator will begin negotiating. The mediator will go back and forth between rooms if necessary.
When you agree on the issues you need to agree on, you’ll get it all on paper.
What Issues Can You Address in Family Law Mediation?
Are You Thinking About Divorce?
We can answer your questions about whether you’ll be required to pay or entitled to receive spousal support, how to figure out child custody and the division of property, as well as any other questions you may have or refer you to a therapist focusing on divorce issues.
Call us at (209) 546-6246 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with an attorney. We may be able to help you.