Not all divorces are equal, as much as we’d like them to be. Mediation can help – but what is mediation? Sometimes spouses or parents can have a tough time of agreeing upon what is fair in a settlement. When that happens, we bring in a mediator to help spouses make decisions. Mediators are an excellent resource for families that just can’t seem to work it out on their own but don’t want to end up fighting in court. Recently, Lindsay Willis, one of Rosen Law Firm’s top attorneys, took the steps to become a mediator herself, and now she’s giving us a firsthand look at what the process entails and how you can use a mediator to help facilitate your divorce.
What does a mediator do in a divorce?
A mediator is a neutral third party that works with both parties to try to help people reach an agreement. A mediator can’t make decisions in your case, he or she is there to facilitate reaching a resolution.
Where does mediation take place?
Mediation typically takes place at the office of the mediator, although it sometimes can take place at the courthouse or other neutral location.
What are the benefits to mediation?
Mediation is a way for parties to come together and try to reach a resolution without putting their case in the hands of a judge. In a mediation setting you are able to retain some control over the decision-making process and work on creative resolutions to your case. In court, you are giving the judge complete discretion in making decisions about your case.
Why would you mediate?
There are several different reasons we may decide to engage in mediation in a case. One reason is that both parties are motivated to try to work on an out-of-court resolution to the issues in their case. Mediation is a lot more relaxed and less stressful than going to court is, and it is also a much less expensive option than going to court.
What kinds of families would a mediator be a good fit for?
Mediation is a great resource for people who want to retain some control over their case and want to avoid the hassle and uncertainty of litigation.
What’s the best way to work through a situation where two people absolutely can’t agree on something?
The nice thing about mediation is that you are typically in a different room from your spouse the whole time, which lessens the tension and helps facilitate progress in coming to a resolution. The mediator will be pushing both sides to try and get to common ground if it is possible. Of course, if no agreement is reached at the mediation the next step is to go to court.
Is it harder when there are children involved?
Every case is going to have a different level of complexity when children are involved. The great thing about mediating a child custody case is that you are able to come up with creative solutions to the child-related issues in your case. For instance, if one parent has a crazy work-travel schedule, you can work on a unique custody schedule that fits your situation. When you are in court, you have given a judge the power to make those decisions for you, and then you are stuck with those decisions whether you like them or not.