Divorce Mediation is based on assumptions of good faith, trust and full disclosure. It provides an environment where divorce issues could be openly discussed and resolved in a private, non-litigious manner. It often includes thinking “outside the box” in order to find creative, acceptable solutions.
Divorce Mediation provides for a Mediator, an impartial third party, to meet with the divorcing couple, usually in a series of sessions where divorce issues are discussed. Typically, prior to commencing the first mediation session, the Mediator and couple sign a Mediation Agreement which lays out rules and explains the mediation process. During the mediation sessions the Mediator’s role includes acting as a facilitator, identifying divorce issues, and promoting healthy discussion. The Mediator encourages the couple to communicate needs and interests with each other. The Mediator also asks questions and manages the discussion. The couple decides together how to best resolve the divorce issues. However, as there is no crystal ball, it cannot be predicted how many sessions will be needed for the couple to resolve their divorce issues and there is no guarantee that mediation will work to resolve the couples’ issues.
When the couple does resolve their divorce issues through mediation, the Mediator typically prepares a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which is a non-binding summary of the couple’s agreement reached through mediation. Typically each spouse takes the MOU to his or her individual attorney to continue with the legal divorce process which includes, among other things, drafting and executing a property settlement agreement.
If divorce is inevitable, the ability to resolve issues outside of court using Divorce Mediation can help preserve family relationships and assist in creatively finding acceptable solutions for all.
If divorce issues are resolved outside of court more privacy may be provided for the couple. Divorce mediation sessions are scheduled at the convenience and availability of the couple and the mediator, which can include evenings and weekends, not at dates and times set by the court. Prior to starting the Divorce Mediation process, Husband and Wife are screened by the Mediator to assure the process is a suitable option, taking into account the couple’s history and situation.