Couples who choose to negotiate their divorce via mediation as opposed to solely in front of a judge enjoy a number of benefits. Not only do they enjoy a greater chance of preserving their friendship down the road, but of reaching a more amendable resolution to the end of their marriage than they otherwise would. And, for couples with kids, mediation has not only been shown to be easier on the kids, but to result in more equitable custody arrangements as well.
A mediation is led by a third party called a mediator. That individual has undergone special training to help walk divorcing spouses through resolving issues. Their job is to give each spouse equitable time to not only voice his or her concerns, but to speak about his or her preferences as well.
He or she is also responsible for imparting insight as to how the legal system works. They are also proactive in providing alternative solutions for resolving disputes between the spouses when they arise.
For couples who elect to resolve their divorce via mediation, it’s important to note that your divorce will most likely not be resolved during one meeting alone. Instead, you will attend a number of one- to two-hour sessions spread across as many as two months.
During the first session, each spouse will enumerate the many different issues that would need to be resolved for both agree to the divorce. At this meeting, the mediator may also provide you a list of the many different financial documents or other records that the couple will need to bring to the next session. This information will be used as the mediator attempts to make sense of the realities, like debt, couples face.
Once an agreement is reached, the mediator will prepare a draft of the agreement for review by both spouses and their attorneys. The mediator will then file the finalized agreement with family court. A judge will then sign off on the agreement. It then becomes an enforceable court order.
Many couples believe that their issues are too complex to resolve via mediation. Others believe that their ability to communicate with their ex is too strained to be able to effectively negotiate a settlement with them. In consulting with a Houston divorce attorney, you’ll learn that mediation is not only a time-saving method of resolving your lingering differences, but a cost-effective approach as well.
Source: findlaw.com, “Divorce mediation FAQ,” accessed May 16, 2017