Divorce Mediation Overview

Divorce Mediation Overview

Divorce Mediation Overview
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Divorce Mediation Overview  

Introduction

Divorce mediation is a collaborative law process where divorcing couples can end their marriage outside of court, avoiding litigation and uncertain judgment by working with a family law expert.  Unlike conventional divorce where lawyers represent both parties, divorce mediation has a divorce lawyer or team of lawyers that work for both clients and consider the interests of the individuals in determining a fair and amicable settlement.  A legally binding settlement agreement, which may be reviewed by another party, is drawn up and the separation is final.  It is then the responsibility of the former couple to abide by the settlement.

Some mediators deal with issues other than divorce, but some areas will have specialized divorce mediation firms that maintain a litany of resources for couples that need to end their marriage.

What are the key elements to divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation experts will focus on a few key elements when helping to mediate a settlement.  First there will be the division of assets, including debts incurred as a married couple.  Once the property is divided, there will be the issue of spousal support and how much if any will be due as a result of this settlement.  Lastly, if there are children, then child support will be calculated along with a plan to raise the child accordingly and granting custody.

What are the advantages of divorce mediation?

As divorce mediation is collaborative, there is a much greater chance that the couple will abide by the agreement.  One party usually does not hold the perception is unfair as they, rather than the legal system, determines and signed the agreement, with intention to abide by it.  This prevents future problems such as dereliction of child and spousal support payments.  Additionally, this agreement provides more stability for children in the marriage as both parents have come to an agreement on how to properly parent the child.  Lastly, divorce mediation is private, unlike litigation which is public, in addition to prohibitive costs and inevitable collateral damage from battling in court.

How do I choose a divorce mediator?

Above all, it is important to choose a professional with experience in divorce proceedings and family law.  Some practices will offer multiple mediators to give clients a sense of fairness in the determinations and potentially elimination gender and other biases in the process.  There is also specialized training for divorce mediators, so most specialized divorce meditation establishments will have professionals that have had specialized training in dealing with these issues.  If the mediator offers free consultations, then you will be able to determine the mediation style and professionalism of the mediator before paying for his or her services.  Mediators may charge a combination of fees per session, retainer fees and document preparation fees.

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