These days, more parties are opting for mediation instead of bringing their divorce cases to court. Mediation is often less expensive, less time-consuming and gives parties more control over the dispute process. But while mediation is usually an easier process, parties have to make an effort to understand what happens in one, so they can prepare.
If you are looking into mediation for your divorce, here are things you should note.
The mediator’s role
During the mediation process, there should be a neutral third party who will initiate the discussion. The mediator shall guide the parties through various divorce issues such as property division, alimony, child custody and support. When the parties cannot agree on terms, the mediator keeps the discussion civil and can make suggestions during the negotiation. Once the parties agree on the terms, the mediator will draft the agreement.
What should the parties prepare?
Parties should prepare documents relating to the mediation issues, such as financial statements, a list of assets and debts and court documents. These will be useful when proving a point to the other party. The parties should also mentally prepare themselves to communicate openly because mediation might not be effective if the parties are not open to hearing each other’s sides.
Confidential and private
One of the benefits of mediation is that it is private and confidential. Unlike in litigation, where the divorce proceedings are in public records, mediation agreements stay between the parties, the mediator and the court, which shall approve and enforce the settlement agreement.
While mediation has many benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. There might be circumstances surrounding the divorce that may show that mediation is not the best option for the parties. Understanding the basics of divorce mediation can help parties decide if it is the right process for them.