What is mediation?
Mediation is an out of court process in which both parties meet with a trained professional to resolve the issues of their separation and/or divorce including division of property, spousal support, counsel fees and child custody and child support.
Who are mediators?
A mediator is a trained neutral professional, a mental health professional or attorney or both, who will help the parties to communicate with each other to try to reach a resolution. Mediators are neutral parties who help people resolve their disputes. However, unlike arbitrators, they do not render binding decisions. Rather, mediators help facilitate discussion and guide the parties toward a mutually acceptable agreement.
What is the mediation process?
Generally, mediation begins with an overview of the process and any rules the mediator will follow, including neutrality and confidentiality. Sometimes the mediator meets with the parties separately and then together. Often, the mediator will give each spouse a chance to make a statement. The mediation will then continue in a combination of joint and private sessions as the parties need and require. During joint sessions, the parties will talk through the issues and try to reach a resolution on each issue. During private sessions, the mediator will meet alone with each side to discuss the overall progress and their individual concerns. At the end of the sessions, the mediator will bring the parties back together for a final meeting. If the parties have agreed on all or some issues, the mediator will help them put the agreement in writing. If they have not reached an agreement, the mediator will probably invite the parties to schedule another session. If a mediation ends with a divorce settlement, the agreement and any other required forms must be filed with the court.
Is mediation successful? Predictable vs Unpredictable Results
“Many spouses have success with the mediation process because of its unique structure and flexibility. In mediation, the parties make all the decisions, rather than the mediator or a judge, and the parties are never forced to reach a settlement. Mediators will have their own preferences, but all mediations follow the same general format.”
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