What Does The Mediator Do?
A family law mediator is an impartial party who can help couples resolve their issues. The mediator aids communication between parties, making sure each is fully heard. The mediator provides information about the law, how issues may be viewed by lawyers and judges, and what alternatives exist.
How Does the Process Work?
Mediation takes place over a series of 1 to 2-hour sessions.
- 1st meeting: You and the mediator will identify the issues and the order in which they will be discussed. Between the first and subsequent sessions, you will gather all relevant financial information. Or if needed, the opinions of financial experts can be brought to the table.
- Subsequent Sessions: Discussions will revolve around how to find a compromise on the various disagreements at issue in order to meet the needs of each party. The mediator will assist by providing advice about how the court system works and common ways divorce issues tend to be resolved.
- The Agreement: When a comprehensive agreement has eventually been reached, the mediator then produces a written draft of the agreement for review by each of the parties as well as their attorneys.
How are Divorce Court Documents Filed?
If the mediator is trained as an attorney, he or she can help the parties to file all relevant papers with the court. This will include beginning the dissolution of marriage, preparing and filing disclosure documents, preparing the agreement, final papers to be filed, and the final judgment.
Will My Former Spouse and I Need to Appear in Court?
Court appearances are not necessary for mediation.
How Long Will the Mediation Take?
Each case is different, but the average case tends to take at least three to four sessions, two hours each- dispersed over the course of one or two months. More complicated cases can take up to four to six months to complete. But these are not the norm.
Will the Agreement be Legally Enforceable?
Yes. Once the agreement is signed, that agreement is enforceable by law. Usually, a judgment based on your agreement is filed with the court. It is equally as enforceable as any other final divorce judgment.
What if Our Case is Too Complex for Mediation?
There is no case that is too complicated for mediation to be successful. Often, the parties in mediation consult experts such as appraisers, accountants, financial planners, and attorneys before the process is complete.
What if We are Unable to Agree on all the Issues?
Agreements can be prepared on all of the settled issues. From there, the parties can litigate the remaining disputes or devote additional time to rethink the issues, and return to mediation at a later date.
We Don’t Get Along Well – How Can We Possibly Mediate?
An important part of any well-qualified mediator’s training is in helping couples who harbor a lot of tension between them, but who nevertheless, still wish to work things out peaceably. Most people tend to calm down and become amenable to compromise when they realize mediation can work without exacerbating bitter feelings and the cost of their divorce.