Divorce mediation is a way to resolve divorce or parenting conflicts in a way that supports an amiable separation far into the future. If there are young children involved, mediation provides a solid foundation for working as parents after your divorce. Open sessions allow for both parties to negotiate for themselves, taking less time and at least half the cost of a traditional divorce. The only people making decisions are those directly involved in the dispute, unlike arbitration or litigation where a judge or an arbitrator makes the final decision. It keeps you both in control.
Typically, divorce mediation consists of several joint meetings between spouses and a mediator (a lawyer or trained professional) which last several hours each. During those meetings, the parties discusss the issues that need to be resolved in the case. The mediator is there to facilitate the discussion, assist with communication, provide information and suggestions and use specialized training to assist the two of you to resolve your differences today and down the road. The mediator will also draft an agreement that is fair to both of you, and if you have children, in their best interests as well.
Importantly, mediation is not another term for collaborative divorce. With mediation, you still have the option of going to court if you need to. It has been our experience that mediation can work for a surprising number of clients and, moreover, it sets a foundation of respect on which couples can rebuild a more productive and harmonious future. Mediation saves money, reduces stress and will benefit your children for years to come.