Should We Consider Mediation as a Means to Divorce?
Divorce mediation is a common method of negotiating a divorce settlement.
Mediation can save a couple substantial money, time and potentially reduce the stress of a litigated divorce.
Mediation allows the spouses to move on with their lives much faster.
- The parties make all the decisions themselves on the issues mediated. Unlike a contested divorce in court, there are no potential surprise decisions from a judge (who doesn’t really know the family) for the couple who cannot resolve the issue(s) themselves. The mediator does not make any decisions.
- Mediation is much less expensive than a contested divorce in court.
- A divorce resolved through mediation is much faster than a contentious litigation in court. Most divorce mediations can be concluded in several mediation sessions (e.g., 6-12 hours), depending on the number and complexity of the issues involved. A litigated divorce in court takes 1+ year(s).
- Mediation is typically significantly less stressful on each spouse than a litigated divorce. The intense emotional stress and acrimony from litigation are avoided.
- Mediation is much less stressful on the couple’s children and on their families. You reduce the likelihood of having your children choose between parents who are in court, since the couple will be working together to find joint solutions to open issues in mediation.
- Mediation provides a means to have a cooperative relationship with their spouse going forward. This is particularly important where children are involved, or where your ex-spouse’s input will be needed on other future issues.
- Your personal information remains private.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who Decides What is Best for Our Children?
The individuals make all the decisions about their children. There is no judge or court appointed expert, who do not know your children or your family, making those decisions.
What is the Role of the Mediator?
The mediator is a trained, impartial, neutral, fair, unbiased third party. Their role is to guide the couple through the open issues by helping to improve communication, clarify positions, identify each spouse’s core concerns, help brainstorm options that address core concerns, and assist the couple reach a consensus. The couple makes their own decisions. The mediator does not make any decisions.
Since many of the issues involved in a divorce are financial, Ira’s extensive financial background will help the parties understand the financial implications of options and also help craft solutions to assist them in reaching a consensus. If helpful, Ira will refer a couple to a psychologist or therapist to resolve issues involving a couple’s children, or the couple may choose to have that professional join the mediation.
Is an Attorney Involved?
The parties are free to consult an attorney and encouraged to do so at any time. An attorney is not needed to participate in the actual mediation sessions.
After mediation, it is recommended that the parties consult their own attorneys to review their preliminary agreement of mediated issues (the Memorandum of Understanding) and prior to signing their final agreement, which is prepared by an attorney. Should a spouse wish to renegotiate an issue from mediation, we do so.
If and when each of you are both ready to proceed with your divorce, an attorney will file the final signed agreement, as well as the other required court forms.
How Long Does the Process Take?
The couple determines how long the mediation process takes. The time required is based on the number of issues to mediate, the complexity of those issues and the couple’s willingness to reach a consensus on those issues. Most divorce mediations can be concluded in 6 – 12 hours of meetings. Unlike a divorce done through the court system, there are no court proceedings, lengthy documents to file, or court appointed experts to meet before the couple can reach a consensus on the issues. Most litigated divorces in court require 1+ year(s).
Can We Leave Mediation at Anytime?
Mediation is voluntary and can be stopped at anytime. If the couple cannot come to an agreement on issues, divorce litigation is always available.