Many people have heard of divorce mediation, but few understand exactly what it entails. If you are planning to end your marriage, you may be interested in ways you can reduce conflict and increase cooperation during the divorce process. Divorcing spouses who can reach an agreement about the allocation of parental responsibilities, division of marital property and debt, and other important matters are typically more satisfied with the outcome of their divorce than those who go to Court and let a Judge make decisions for them. Resolving divorce issues through mediation or lawyer-assisted negotiation is also much less expensive than a divorce trial. This blog will outline the general principles of divorce mediation and explain how a mediator may be able to help you and your spouse reach an out-of-Court agreement on any disputed issues during divorce.
What Happens During Mediation?
Mediation is an informal process in which a trained neutral third party, the mediator, assists the divorcing couple in communicating with each other to reach an agreement about the terms of their divorce. The mediator does not make any decisions for the couple or give legal advice. Rather, the mediator’s role is to facilitate communication and help the couple brainstorm solutions to their disagreements.
During mediation, the couple may discuss questions such as:
- Will we sell the marital home? If not, who will remain living in the marital home?
- How will we divide our savings and retirement accounts?
- Who will have the majority of parenting time with the children?
- How will we communicate with each other about parenting decisions?
- What are our child’s unique needs and how can we best support them during this time of transition?
- What are our financial needs and obligations post-divorce?
- Will our divorce include a spousal maintenance order? How long will maintenance payments last?
What Does the Mediator Do During Divorce Mediation?
The mediator will help the couple identify their goals for the divorce process and work with them to address questions like those above. Understandably, divorce-related conversations can become emotionally charged. A skilled mediator knows how to de-escalate tense situations and mitigate negative emotions. He or she will help the couple focus on problem-solving instead of casting blame on each other by gently redirecting conversations. The mediator will also help the couple on how to draft their own divorce agreement. This document will eventually be submitted to the Court for approval and will become a binding legal contract once it is signed by both parties and the Judge.
Contact Our Palatine Divorce Mediation Lawyer
Arlington Heights Divorce lawyer and mediator Nicholas W. Richardson can help you end your marriage as cooperatively as possible. Call the Law Office of Nicholas W. Richardson, P.C. at 847.873.6741 for a free case assessment to get started.