The Role of a Divorce Mediator: How They Can Help You and Your Spouse Reach an Agreement that Works
Updated December 3, 2023
Divorce can be an emotional transition, but it doesn’t have to be a battle.
When couples decide to end their marriage, they often turn to a divorce mediator to help them navigate separation’s complex legal and emotional landscape. A mediator is a neutral third party facilitating communication and negotiation between spouses, helping them reach a fair and amicable divorce agreement. This post explores the important role of a divorce mediator and how they can assist you and your spouse in achieving a peaceful resolution to your divorce. Whether you’re dealing with issues related to child custody, property division, or alimony, a skilled mediator can help you find common ground and reach an agreement. So, if you’re considering divorce and want to avoid the stress, uncertainty, delay, and emotional and monetary expense of a courtroom battle, read on to learn more about the benefits of working with a divorce mediator.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps couples work together to reach a complete agreement on all the issues in their divorce. A mediator is trained to facilitate communication between both spouses, help identify problems that need to be resolved, generate creative options for consideration, and help both parties come to a fair and equitable agreement. Mediators do not take sides and do not provide legal advice. Instead, they help both parties communicate effectively and work together to resolve their issues. The mediator’s guidance allows the spouses to keep control over their divorce. Of course, there will be give and take and likely strong feelings in their negotiations, but ultimately the spouses retain control over the critical decisions that must be made in their divorce.
The mediation process is typically less formal than going to court, and the sessions are private and confidential. Sometimes mediation sessions are at the mediator’s office; in other cases, they occur remotely. This allows flexibility that is appealing to many busy spouses. In addition, sessions are scheduled on their timeframe, not at the court’s discretion, like in litigation.
The mediator helps both parties make progress by asking questions, providing information, and helping them come up with solutions that work for both sides. Freed Marcroft has designed its mediation process to maximize and streamline the sessions and the mediation itself. Mediation clients know precisely what “prep” to do before the mediation sessions to make the most of our time together.
Our mediators also create a written agreement reflecting the spouses’ divorce decisions, including regarding child custody, child support, alimony, and property division. Then, after the parties review it with their mediation review counsel, Freed Marcroft’s team typically helps them file the mediation divorce agreement with the family court.
How to Choose the Right Divorce Mediator for Your Situation
Choosing the right divorce mediator is a critical step in the process. There are several factors to consider when selecting a mediator. One of the most important factors is the mediator’s experience and qualifications. It’s important to choose a mediator trained in divorce mediation with substantial experience working with couples who have similar issues to yours. In addition, you’ll want to strongly consider hiring a divorce attorney to serve as your mediator. Although they don’t represent either of you as your attorney and won’t give legal advice, their background in divorce law means that they are in a good position, for example, to flag issues that you need to make decisions about and present creative solutions that are likely to be acceptable to the court.
Another factor to consider is the mediator’s personality and style. It’s essential to choose a mediator you feel comfortable working with and who can help both parties communicate effectively. You should also consider the mediator’s fees and availability. Most mediators charge hourly, and the cost can vary depending on the mediator’s experience and location.
The Role of a Divorce Mediator
The role of a divorce mediator is to act as a neutral third party and help both parties communicate effectively. The mediator’s job is to help both parties work through their issues and develop a mutually beneficial agreement. The mediator does not provide legal advice or make decisions for the couple. Instead, they help both parties identify their goals and priorities and work towards a fair and equitable resolution. The spouses remain responsible for (and therefore have control over) the settlement they reach.
The mediator’s role is to create a safe and neutral environment where both parties can express their concerns and work towards a solution. The mediator helps both parties focus on the issues at hand and supports their efforts to communicate effectively. The mediator also helps both parties understand the legal process and the options available to them.
Benefits of Using a Divorce Mediator
There are several benefits to using a divorce mediator. Mediation is also less adversarial than going to court, which can help reduce stress and conflict between both parties.
Another benefit of mediation is that it gives both parties more control over the outcome. When a couple goes to court, the judge makes the final decision, which may not be in either party’s best interest. In mediation, both parties work together to devise a solution that works for them. This can lead to a more satisfactory outcome for both parties than letting a judge decide.
Primarily because of the reduced acrimony, mediation is typically less expensive than a high conflict litigation. When both spouses are dedicated to moving forward and keeping their commitments, including scheduled meetings and completing homework on time, mediation can also be a faster process.
How a Divorce Mediator Can Help You and Your Spouse Reach a Fair Agreement
Divorce mediation can help couples reach a fair and equitable agreement by facilitating communication and negotiation between both parties. The mediator helps both parties identify their goals and priorities and find a resolution that works for them and that the court will view as fair and equitable.
The mediation process typically involves several sessions where both parties discuss the topics that must be decided in divorce and work towards a solution. The mediator helps both parties communicate effectively, identify the issues that need to be resolved that the spouses may not have considered, and come up with a solution that works for both parties.
The mediator can also provide information about the legal process and the options available to both parties. They can help both parties understand their decisions’ potential consequences and how those will affect their future. Then, the mediator drafts a written agreement outlining the agreed-upon divorce terms so the spouses can review it with their independent review attorneys.
Common Misconceptions About Divorce Mediators
There are several misconceptions about divorce mediators. One of the most common misconceptions is that the mediator takes sides or provides legal advice. This is not true — even when the mediator is a divorce attorney. Instead, the mediator’s role is as a neutral third party there to help both parties communicate effectively and work towards a fair and equitable solution.
Another common misconception is that mediation is only for couples who get along. This is also not true. Mediation has helped many couples experiencing conflict and tension work through their issues in a safe and neutral environment. Mediation can also help reduce the stress and conflict between both parties and lead to a more satisfactory outcome for both. This doesn’t mean that mediation is suitable for everyone; it isn’t. But the fact that disagreements exist is not enough alone to disregard mediation as an option entirely. We can help you determine the best divorce approach- including mediation, collaborative divorce, or litigation– for you.
Divorce can be a challenging and emotional transition, but it doesn’t have to be a battle. A divorce mediator can help you and your spouse navigate the complex legal and emotional landscape of separation and work towards a fair and amicable divorce agreement. Mediation is typically less expensive, less adversarial, and faster than going to court. It also gives both parties more control over the outcome and can lead to a more satisfactory resolution. If you’re considering divorce, consider working with a mediator to help you and your spouse peacefully resolve your divorce.
Please contact us if you’d like to learn more from Freed Marcroft’s experienced mediators.