In divorce mediation, you and your spouse engage a neutral third party to assist you in reaching agreements about your divorce. The mediator does not need to be a lawyer and does not represent either of you and, even if a lawyer or not, the mediator cannot offer legal advice.
- Mediation may occur with divorcing couples who have hired attorneys or couples who are not represented by legal counsel. Some mediators require you and your spouse to retain “consulting attorneys.” If so, the attorney’s role may be limited to reviewing proposed settlement agreements and advising you or your spouse about the law and how your proposed agreement may impact your legal rights.
- The goal of mediation is to allow you and your spouse to reach agreements that meet your needs and the needs of your children without the financial and emotional cost of a court battle. The mediator can provide information about the divorce process and guide a discussion to help resolve issues.
- You both communicate with each other directly, in the presence of the mediator, and decide together what information to review and what outside experts to involve.
- If you and your spouse use mediation without attorneys, you both are responsible for preparing all the required forms for the court for the divorce to be legal and binding.
- If the parties to mediation are unrepresented by counsel, the mediator can complete many of the necessary documents for the court, and, in some cases, appear in court with the parties as a mediator.
- You and your spouse must appear in court for your final hearing to have your agreement approved and the divorce judgment granted.
The divorce mediation approach can be used as the only conflict resolution approach or in conjunction with the collaborative approach to resolve specific issues on which you and your spouse may have reached impasse.