Divorce doesn’t have to be a contentious fight. You and your former spouse can disagree about the distribution of assets, debts, or child custody. Still, you can agree to end your marriage amicably. When this is the case, divorce mediation is a less time-consuming and less costly option for you to consider.
Divorce mediation is the process by which the divorcing parties work with a mediator to reach a settlement agreement that satisfies both parties. Once the parties mutually agree to the settlement, they sign the document summarizing their understanding and present the settlement to the family law court to finalize the divorce.
When is divorce mediation right for you?
Mediation is a collaborative process with both parties openly working towards a solution. The parties should be in agreement about the end of the marriage. And both parties must be open to negotiating the terms and willing to reach an agreement.
During the mediation, we will review financial terms. A successful mediation will begin with both parties willing to come to an agreement here too. With the financials, mediation works best when each spouse agrees to provide full disclosure about their assets and debts so an agreement can be reached about the division of assets, spousal support, and child support.
When children are involved, mediation is an excellent option for you. The mediation can also address child custody and child support arrangements. Using divorce mediation allows the parents to maintain a better relationship with each other as they proceed with the divorce, which can help them as they prepare to co-parent in the future.
Finally, if you prefer more control over the outcome of your divorce settlement, consider divorce mediation. A mediator will facilitate the discussion about the issues but will not issue a decision. You and your spouse will discuss and decide how to divide assets and provide for your children.
When is divorce mediation not right for me?
Divorce mediation is not right for you if:
- Your relationship has a history of child abuse, substance abuse, or domestic violence. Mediation works best when both parties come into the mediation room with equal amounts of power and the clarity needed to participate in the negotiation. Plus, both parties may need to work together in the same physical or virtual room. If your or your children’s safety is a concern, mediation is not right for you.
- Either party refuses to cooperate and negotiate in good faith. Mediation is not right for you if one party refuses to participate in or negotiate in good faith during mediation. Because mediation is a collaborative process, it requires both individuals to agree and engage in it.
Benefits of Using Divorce Mediation
Mediation is an option to avoid the expense, time, and contentiousness of divorce litigation. It also facilitates the beginning of a cooperative co-parenting arrangement for spouses with children. But it works best when both parties work together to find an acceptable solution.
Dorit Goikhman, the founder of Off the Record Mediation Services, LLC, is a licensed attorney and trained mediator ready to assist you with your divorce mediation. Off the Record Mediation Services can help you work out the details of distributing assets, spousal support, and child custody arrangements. Both parties can feel heard, reach an agreement, and preserve the co-parenting relationship.
Contact Off the Record Mediation Services today if you want to learn more about divorce mediation.