Understanding the Benefits of Mediation in Divorce – Part II

A mediator does not represent either party. Rather, a mediator creates a cooperative environment when both you and your spouse can work together to reach an agreement on the terms of your divorce. Both you and your spouse have the right to also consult individually with an attorney during this process. Once the agreement is reached, the mediator will write up the agreement into a document where both you and your spouse will then be able to file the document with additional court papers to obtain a divorce.

This process only works if both you and your spouse are willing to make a full financial disclosure, and if you both are willing to make a good faith effort to reach an agreement.

The benefits of mediation are:

Lower cost because this process is less time consuming. The amount of time involved to reach an agreement varies based on the level of conflict, the number of issues and the complexity of both your finances. A typical mediation where both you and your spouse agree typically takes approximately 10 hours.

Less painful for your children because you avoid the long court process and litigation involved with ending your marriage.

Mediated settlements can be prepared by a lawyer or a certified divorce mediator.

The benefit to a mediator is when you and your spouse have reached an agreement on all issues, and you simply are looking for the most inexpensive and yet professional completing the necessary paperwork to finalize your divorce.

Hiring a Qualified Mediator:

  • Call your local County Clerk’s Office and ask for a list of mediators in your area.
  • Check the yellow pages under “Divorce Mediation”
  • Make sure whomever you choose has been mediating for at least 3 years.
  • Ask for a list of references.
  • Ask for a fee agreement in writing once you have selected someone.
  • Consult with a lawyer before an agreement is finalized to have them review and make any changes to the document.

Ending a Relationship is not an easy road to travel. It is survivable only when you are able to do the work necessary to move on with your life. You will make it.