If animosity between you and your spouse is not an issue, couples can choose mediation instead of a judge in court to settle their divorce. A mediator is a neutral third party and will assist you in reaching an agreement that is fair to both parties. Some of the issues that will be addressed in mediation include property distribution, spousal support, child support and child custody arrangements.
Mediation is a series of meetings between you, your spouse and the mediator, usually in the mediator’s office. The mediator will lay out a schedule and go over, one by one, each issue for consideration. Once a decision is made and agreed to by both parties, the mediator will move on to the next issue. The mediator’s job is to facilitate you and your spouse to make decisions for yourselves, not to make the decisions for you.
One of the benefits of mediation is that it is usually less expensive than a full-blown trial and is also much quicker. Couples with little personal property often choose mediation. You and your spouse control the mediation process and you are not relinquishing decision-making responsibility to a judge. Mediation is not recommended when a history of spousal abuse or domestic violence has occurred. This is particularly true if the couple has a history of child abuse or neglect. If one party or the other is medically unable to represent themselves, the mediator may recommend that a lawyer represents them at trial.
If you and you spouse are seeking an amicable divorce, you should consider mediation as an alternative to a going to court. Our law firm offers mediation services to couples who qualify and can help you resolve property distribution, spousal support, child support and custody issues.