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What’s Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is an alternate way to separate from a spouse without having to go through a protracted court battle. The entire process is somewhat informal. It involves the use of a neutral, professional third-party person called a mediator. Here is what you need to know about divorce mediation.
Understanding the Process
The basic process of divorce mediation starts with a call to a mediator. Both you and your spouse must agree to go through mediation and honor the process. The mediator will then like talk to each party separately gathering objective information about the current state of the marriage, children and assets. Each spouse can often present questions or problems that need to be resolved during mediation. Both parties will then be called in to meet in person in an office or other location.
Reaching an Agreement
The bulk of mediation revolves around the spouses negotiating to reach a settlement that is amicable for everyone involved. The mediator does not act like a judge executing decisions. The mediator will simply ask questions and guide the negotiations so that they remain constructive. Negotiations will continue until a solution has been reached for all of the relevant issues. This could require one or both spouses having to gather more information about the current marriage situation.
Attorneys Can Be Involved
It is possible and sometimes preferable to involve attorneys in mediation. You can have an attorney attend some or all of the mediation sessions. A lawyer can help to protect your rights. Attorneys can also help by constructing creative agreements between the spouses. Although it is not necessary, many people in contentious divorces do have attorneys present during mediation.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation has several benefits. The first is that you and your spouse control the process in most cases. You can reach agreements based on what you want and need instead of being bound by harsh divorce or civil laws. Everything that happens in mediation is usually confidential and private. Mediation can take far less time than litigation if the parties are willing to negotiate with an open mind. Mediation can cost less than going to court for a divorce. A final benefit is that mediation could help to improve communication between parties after a divorce so that resolving unexpected issues is much easier in the future.
What the Final Agreement Means
A final agreement will be drawn up when mediation completes and all problems are solved. That final agreement is usually entered into the divorce paperwork as a legally binding document. The agreement can be legally enforced by the courts if one spouse decides to disregard it. Some agreements will even include parenting plans to cover how children are treated after the divorce. A good thing about divorce mediation is that most people follow the agreement afterwards because it was developed through mutual consensus.
When Mediation Might Not Work
There are some situations where mediation might not work. One is if there is a history of violence or abuse between spouses. Mediation could be too stressful or traumatic to endure in that case. Another situation is if one spouse absolutely will not negotiate on key points such as child custody or ownership of assets. A final possible time when mediation might not work is if the marriage was so contentious that a spouse will not even make contact with the other person. Speak to a NYC divorce lawyer today, for more information.