What Is Divorce Mediation and How Does it Work?
Couples frequently inquire about the cost and effectiveness of divorce mediation. Having a mediator can also benefit you if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement. Before you choose the divorce mediation option, you should be aware of some essential details about the procedure. If you know what to expect, you’ll be better prepared to negotiate with a mediator.
The divorce mediation cost depends on the complexity of your divorce. The more complex your divorce, the more mediation sessions it will take. For example, divorces with complex assets and complicated custody disputes will take longer. You may also need to pay additional fees for the services of third-party experts. If you aren’t comfortable with finances, you may consider hiring a financial analyst or divorce financial advisor.
Before beginning divorce mediation, you should gather information related to your finances. For example, understand the dates when you acquired marital property. To maximize mediation’s effectiveness, ensure your financial information is accurate and completely transparent.
Divorce mediation has many benefits, including its relaxed atmosphere, flexibility, and ease of use. In contrast to court-centered divorce, mediation allows couples to make decisions that suit their needs and preferences. For example, they can decide how assets will be divided or how child-related matters will be handled. This flexibility often eases tension during negotiations. And because the process is so relaxed and easy to follow, parties are more likely to be satisfied with the results.
While many couples may have strong feelings toward divorce and are hesitant to discuss the details, mediation often results in more productive discussions. Because mediators can negotiate without a rigid schedule, they can reach agreements on unique information and avoid polarizing the relationship. This is especially important for couples with children. However, mediation isn’t always an option. Sometimes, a marriage may fail because one partner is unwilling to compromise, and it is best to go through this step alone.
The duration of divorce mediation depends on how complex the issues are and how easy or difficult it is to reach an equitable agreement. For the average case, mediation sessions may last between three and four hours and can be scheduled every two weeks, weekly, or monthly. The more complex your case, the longer the process will likely last. The good news is that it won’t be as expensive or time-consuming as court proceedings. The duration of divorce mediation depends on the issues involved and your willingness to reach reasonable agreements that will benefit you and your children.
During the first session, the mediator explains the process in detail. The first session will involve discussing the issues that concern you and your spouse and gathering financial data. The two of you will then decide on the agreement to reach.
Preparation for divorce mediation begins by examining both spouses’ goals for the divorce process. Both spouses should work together to clarify what each of them wants and do their best to understand the interests of the other. Once the goals are clear, both spouses should know their essential areas of agreement and disagreement and determine what is negotiable and what is not. If the plans are based on their interests, the mediators can work toward those goals with them.
Before you start mediation, determine what each party wants and cannot live without. Then, write down your goals separately by separating your parental and financial goals. Mediation is doomed when one spouse tries to use parenting time to exchange financial desires. In addition, write down the projected budgets for each party. This way, both parties can understand what to expect during the process. By understanding what both parties want, both parties can prepare for their session in an honest, balanced way.