By definition, divorce mediation is when two soon-to-be former spouses try to arrive at agreements together with a mediator present. This mediator is to be an unbiased third party that helps the spouses end their marriage in the most amicable way possible. People who need some advice before a mediation session can turn to an attorney who specializes in family law. A lawyer will be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have about what to expect during this meeting.
Topics Covered During Mediation
The decisions you may have to make during mediation can vary depending on whether you have shared children, and what topics you have had difficulty finding solutions for together. Common issues talked about during mediation sessions are defined below:
- Child Custody = a legal term which refers to the parent’s relationship with his or her children, and ability to make certain decisions regarding wellbeing. The types of child custody include legal custody, physical custody, sole custody, joint legal custody and joint physical custody.
- Distribution of Property = also referred to as equitable distribution, these are the property obligations and rights divided between spouses going through divorce.
- Child Support = an amount ordered by the court, that is typically paid by the noncustodial parent after divorce which helps support care of children.
- Retirement Fund = an account used to deposit benefit funds for retirement, that may be split between each spouse during divorce unless a prenuptial agreement states otherwise.
Meeting in the Middle
During mediation, the mediator is to oversee and guide the conversation between spouses when needed. It is important to note that a mediator is not the same as a therapist. While the mediator may emphasize communicating in a healthy way, the intention is for each spouse to meet in the middle in regards to heavily disputed divorce topics. An attorney can help you get prepared for your mediation sessions, so you can walk in feeling more confident.
Role of the Mediator
The mediator has a huge role to play when it comes to helping the spouses arrive at a solution they are both at least somewhat satisfied with. A divorce mediator must be neutral no matter what, and refrain from giving advice during the session. A successful mediator is one who can:
- Lead the spouses to a reasonable solution/agreement
- Help the spouses brainstorm ideas together
- Encourage a safe space where each spouse can speak openly
- Offer mediation sessions weekly, bi-monthly, monthly or however often the spouses would prefer
- Redirect the spouses to the topic at hand if they get carried away by name-calling, recalling bad memories, or blaming
Please call a law firm today to schedule an appointment with an attorney. The attorney you work with can find out more about how exactly he or she can be of assistance to you during divorce mediation. Many firms offer initial consultations for free to new clients, so take advantage of this right away.