There is more to divorce mediation than just saving time and money. With mediation spouses remain in control of their divorce process. Mediation is empowering and reduces fear and stress. Spouses work together, not through separate lawyers and make their own decisions not the mediator or a judge. The couple controls the outcome and decides on the terms of their divorce settlement.
Mediation Levels the Playing Field
People enter mediation considering themselves less knowledgeable and the “weaker” spouse especially about finances. Mediation empowers both parties so they can make informed decisions together. Parties have the same information and knowledge. If one spouse is more financially savvy, or has a stronger personality, the other spouse can be intimidated. When this happens, the spouse does not participate to the fullest during mediation. A mediator helps maintain balance and ensures both spouses fully participate. Mutual respect and open communication are important for a successful mediation. One party might act inappropriately, disrespectful, or try to dominate the mediation session. A mediator will talk to the spouse separately. If the behavior continues, the mediation process generally ends.
Independent Attorneys are Advised
The best mediation client is an informed and educated client. An effective divorce mediator strongly encourages the client to meet with an independent attorney. An attorney will provide each spouse with independent legal advice. Many choose to meet with an attorney only at the end of the mediation process to review the agreement. Some spouses meet with an attorney only at the beginning of the mediation process. Often couples choose not to meet with an attorney because they have fully participated and understand the agreement. The couple is free to make their own decision about whether to meet with an attorney. Meeting with an attorney is important if you still have questions and concerns at the end of the mediation process.
Using an Attorney Mediator Is Beneficial
If your mediator is also an attorney, they will help prepare and file the legal paperwork. This includes starting the divorce or legal separation. An attorney mediator prepares the financial affidavits, calculates child support, when applicable, and drafts your divorce agreement. It is best to work with an attorney mediator who has legal expertise in divorce and family law. The mediator is also responsible for creating a safe and comfortable environment. Helping both spouses feel comfortable means they will be open and communicate effectively. Divorce is emotionally charged and discussions can become heated. A mediator helps both spouses focus on the future and create an agreement they can live with.This avoids going to court and hoping for a good outcome.When spouses make their own decisions about parenting and dividing their assets, there is a better chance the focus will be on the entire family and the best interests of the children.
Mediated Divorces Stand the Test of Time
Mediated agreements have a higher rate of parental cooperation and fewer costs associated with post-divorce litigation. Mediation helps parties create their own agreements rather than have a judge make decisions they may not like. Divorced couples often return to court because one spouse is not complying with court orders imposed upon them by a judge.
Although the mediator cannot give legal advice, they can provide information about the legal system, how issues may be viewed by lawyers or judges, and what alternatives there are for solving issues.The mediator will continually remind the spouses of things that they both need to consider in the decision-making process and to focus on the family and the future.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a divorce attorney, divorce mediator, or one of our other skilled professionals, please don’t hesitate to contact Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221 – 3100 or via email at JMaya@Mayalaw.com. Our firm offers free consultations in person or video conference to discuss your divorce, divorce mediation, or other family law matter.