Typically, couples that are having trouble settling divorce issues like custody and parenting time, support payments and division of property meet with a mediator to work out an agreement. The role of the mediator is to act as an impartial third party and facilitate discussions between spouses. They do this by setting up a schedule of meetings, sending each spouse a set of questions, and asking for relevant financial documents.
A successful mediation depends on both spouses being open to compromise and communicating with one another in a respectful way. A good mediator also has relevant training. They can be lawyers, CPAs, social workers or others with specialized knowledge and skills. The right mediator can help you understand the value of your assets, find ways to divide them fairly and settle other issues that might be preventing a resolution to your marriage.
Some mediators provide a free initial session and reduced-fee follow-up sessions. They can also advise you on whether the process will be cost effective and what to expect. Choosing the right mediator can help you save money by avoiding litigation costs, though you may still want to hire a lawyer to review your agreement before signing it.
It’s important to know that divorce mediation isn’t appropriate for all situations. If you or your spouse are experiencing domestic violence, for example, you’ll need to get a court-ordered protection order and won’t be able to use mediation. You should also talk to your lawyer before attempting to mediate an issue that involves child abuse or neglect, as these kinds of cases can’t be settled in mediation. divorce mediation lawyer