Who is mediation for?
Mediation is not only for couples who agree. It is a process designed to help any couple even when you may not be able to imagine any agreement would be possible. In fact, mediation is often most helpful when a couple finds it difficult to talk on their own. Mediation will address not only the legal requirements for a divorce or other family matters, but also your individual needs.
Divorce or Family Mediation may be right for you:
- for married couples who have made a decision to divorce;
- where a separation (but not necessarily a divorce) is needed;
- if saving time, money and anguish are more important than the desire to crush your spouse through long and expensive litigation;
- if saving the family's assets to begin the next phase of your lives instead of huge legal fees makes sense;
- if you and your spouse creating a parenting plan and a financial plan to guide you in the future - not one done by lawyers and/or a judge - makes sense;
- if minimizing the emotional toll on a divorce can cause you and your children makes sense;
- if you prefer to keep the details of your case private and confidential;
- even if you seem to not be able to agree with your spouse on anything!
- if you need to have an existing agreement or order modified.
What the Mediator does:
A mediator is a neutral, impartial third party who does not take sides in the divorce process. His job is to help you and your spouse find an answer and agreement to the issues and questions that will need to be decided in your divorce. These issues can include:
- distribution of assets, money and property;
- allocation of debts;
- a parenting plan for the children (previously called custody and visitation);
- child support;
- Prepares the Marital Settlement Agreement and other court documents, if requested
The mediator will help and guide you in coming to an agreement that both have participated in achieving and that both can live with - rather than one that will be forced on you by the court.
What the Mediator doesn't do:
- He is not a marriage counselor so he will not try to save your marriage;
- He is not a judge so he will not decide issues for you or tell you what to do;
- He is not your lawyer so he cannot give you legal advice (you can have an attorney review the documents prior to signing, if you like);
- He does not take sides or cast blame on anyone;
When Mediation May not Work
In circumstances where one of the parties may not be able to assert his/her needs or does not feel free to speak his/her mind without fear of consequences, mediation may not be appropriate. Mediation can still be effective even in domestic abuse situations by separating the parties with communications passing through the mediator.