We have discussed mediation in a previous blog post, but there are so many questions about Divorce Mediation that we thought it would be good to revisit the subject. As we previously discussed, mediation is a voluntary process in which both parties hire a mediator to walk them through the process of finalizing the terms of their divorce. The process ends with a full legal divorce and you do not have to step foot into a courtroom at all.
With mediation, there are no attorneys present, however, you are still entitled to hire a mediation coach to ensure you are prepared to go into the mediation sessions on our own. Tracy Duell-Cazes provides mediation coaching through her Family Law practice. You can call our offices to talk to Tracy about the mediation process as it pertains to your specific situation.
In general, there are lot of questions that people have about mediation, so we want to go through some of them here.
As we said, the process does lead to a legally binding divorce. The difference is that the terms of the divorce are fully what you have negotiated. There are no preset formulas or judges unfamiliar with your situation making decisions for you. Mediation is a non-confrontational process, so there are usually no attorneys during the process. That doesn’t mean there will be no disagreements, there are bound to be quite a few. The job of the mediator is to get past the arguments and have both parties come to a place where everyone is somewhat satisfied, or at least where everyone can live with the decision.
We are mediating our divorce, but does that also include child custody and visitation?
Absolutely. This is one of the most important areas of the process. Anything dealing with the kids are sensitive issues. It is also where most of the animosity comes from through a courtroom hearing. Instead of custody and visitation being dictated by the court, it is agreed upon by the parents. This makes it much more likely that the settlement will be fair and amicable for both of you leading to less problems down the road. When it comes to kids, you are still going to be associated with your ex for a number of years, not to mention getting together for major life events. It works out better for the parents and the kids when the custody issues are resolved by the parents rather than a stranger.
Our situation is much too complicated for mediation.
Actually no, it may not be. Every divorce has its own unique complications. There are assets to divide, there may be investments and businesses involves as well. Mediation can even resolve issues about taxes and issues arising if one spouse decides they want to move out of the area.
So, mediation can be used for everyone?
No. Mediation is not for everyone. If one or even both spouses are unable to come to the table to discuss issues in a productive way, then mediation will not work. There are also cases where the divorce is being initiated due to an abusive relationship. In cases like that, it may take the force and even threats of a court order to implement the orders and protect the person being abused.
At TDC Family Law, our focus is the family. We do not look at every case as one where we have to go to court. We look for ways to resolve issues in a way that protects our clients, our clients kids and other interests and we try to do so without deepening the rift between the spouses. We realize that in so many cases the ex-spouses’ lives are still intertwined even after the divorce is final, whether due to kids, investments, or a family business. Mediation is a great process for achieving the end of a marriage that is not working while working to maintain an amicable relationship so everyone can move on without being angry or bitter.