Separation and Divorce Mediation
What to Expect in Divorce Mediation
A divorce agreement resolves three primary issues: (1) how you’ll divide your assets and debts, (2) how you’ll meet your family’s financial needs going forward and, (3) if you have children, how you’ll manage parenting decisions and schedules. Mediation may also address any number of issues relevant to making divorce amicable and workable, such as how to get separated, when to introduce new partners to children and planning for college.
The mediator orchestrates the process for discussing and resolving these issues, while the parties are responsible for making the decisions.
Separation and divorce mediation allows you to honor your past relationship even as you restructure your family. Mediation provides a supportive, collaborative atmosphere where you and your spouse or partner can do your best thinking, and, with help, devise a binding Separation Agreement that works. If you have children, a mediated Separation Agreement is often the most effective way to protect your children’s relationships with both parents and enable cooperative parenting.
- You keep control over what happens. A divorce action is not about whether you will get divorced, but how. In litigation, you rely on opposing counsel or the court to make the decisions about your divorce, your finances, and your children. In mediation, you make the decisions.
- You have a chance to be heard. In mediation, your concerns are heard and addressed. You and your spouse may find that, with help, you are finally communicating in a way that makes it easier to envision a peaceful conclusion and possibilities for a positive life after divorce.
- You spare yourself emotional distress. Using the court system escalates the conflict, prolongs your pain, and postpones your ability to grieve, heal and move on with your life.
- You save time and money. Instead of working against one another, you and your spouse work together in mediation so you can reach solutions that work for both of you. Prolonged divorces can take years to complete and deplete your assets; Mediated divorces are achieved more quickly and cost-efficiently.
- You protect your children. Mediation allows you and your spouse to see this time not only as an ending of your marriage, but also as a transition to a new, post-married relationship. Though you will no longer be married, your relationship as parents will continue forever. Research shows that how parents go about the process of divorce is the most important factor in predicting success for their children.
- You create a comprehensive Separation Agreement that works. The courts are limited in the breadth of issues and remedies it can order. In mediation, you and your spouse can devise a binding Separation Agreement that is tailored to address all of your legal and non-legal concerns. And statistically speaking, people keep the agreements they devise themselves because they work!