A family law mediator is a neutral party specially trained to help couples resolve the issues in their divorce. The mediator facilitates the communication between the parties by making sure each party is given an uninterrupted time to speak, asking a party to restate or explain a point when necessary, and asking questions to make communication clear. The mediator also provides information about the legal system, how issues may be viewed by lawyers or judges, and what alternatives there are for solving issues. When necessary, the mediator will refer the couple to third party experts for services such as appraisals.
How Does the Process Work?
The couple and the mediator meet in a series of mediation sessions, usually 1 – 2 hours long.
1st meeting: The process is explained and the couple can decide if mediation is for them. Between the first and later sessions the couple gathers all relevant financial data, or if necessary, the opinions of experts such as appraisers or accountants, with this material treated with the same care and concern as would be the case in the adversarial process.
Further Meetings: Discussions revolve around how to compromise on the various issues in order to meet the needs of both parties. The mediator assists by providing information about the court system and common ways divorce issues are resolved.
The Agreement: When an agreement has been reached on all issues, the mediator drafts the agreement for review by each of the parties and their attorneys, if any.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
The complexity of the issues and ability of the individuals to be flexible as they negotiate a fair agreement determines the length of the mediation. Every case is different, but the average case usually takes at least four to six one-hour mediation sessions, spread out over at least a month or two. More complex cases can take four to six months to complete.
What if my spouse is very powerful?
The mediator will not allow one party to overpower the other in mediation. If one of the parties is unable to effectively partake in the mediation process, the mediator will stop the mediation. However, many persons who considered themselves to be the “weaker” of the two spouses have been quite effective in mediation.
Should I See a Lawyer During Mediation?
Mediation is not a substitute for the services of a qualified attorney. Both parties are encouraged to obtain independent legal advice during the mediation process, and to have their lawyer review the agreement before it is signed. Even when the mediator is a lawyer, he/she cannot give either party legal advice.
Can a Case is Too Complicated for Mediation?
No case is too complicated to be settled using mediation. Frequently the parties in mediation consult with outside experts such as accountants, appraisers, financial planners and attorneys during the process.
What if We Can’t Agree on All Issues?
It is fairly rare to agree on all but one or two issues, but even if that is the case mediation is seldom wasted. An agreement can be prepared on all settled issues, and the parties can either litigate the remaining issues or take further time to think about them and come back to mediation.
We Don’t Get Along Well – How Can We Possibly Mediate?
Although many mediating couples are amicable and work well in mediation, there are also many couples who are very emotional about the divorce and don’t think they can negotiate face to face. Part of every qualified mediator’s training is in assisting couples who have high emotions but who still would like to work things out peacefully. People do calm down and become effective mediation participants when they see that the process can work without adding to the high emotional and financial cost of divorce.
Original content from Nefuri.com