Getting a divorce can be overwhelming, but there are ways to make the process easier. Divorce mediation is a way for a couple to negotiate and discuss the issues in the divorce with help from their lawyers.
In a divorce mediation, you and your spouse would meet with a neutral mediator. This third-party negotiator will work with both of you to resolve any issues with the divorce, ultimately coming to a divorce settlement agreement. They are there to negotiate on the behalf of both parties and will try to resolve:
- Child custody and child support.
- Division of property.
- Division of assets and high-dollar items.
Divorce mediation provides the couple and their family with many positives, such as the following:
- It is significantly more cost-effective.
- You have more control over the agreement and the outcome.
- Mediation opens communication, which helps ease any animosity and may help prevent future conflicts.
- Going through mediation helps ease tension within the family, teaching the children to compromise instead of arguing.
- Mediation is confidential, and none of the information shared with the mediator is made public.
- Choosing mediation does not disallow you from going to court, and you can and still should have a lawyer.
What Happens in Mediation?
The mediator will speak with you for background information about your family, marriage, and the issues of the divorce. They will likely either ask questions or have you and your spouse fill out a questionnaire, or they may ask you to write a mediation statement, which details the divorce-related problems that need a solution.
There is a possibility to conduct a mediation online, but if it is face-to-face, you will likely meet in a conference room or office area. Generally, mediation takes a few hours, and you could have more than one session. Couples who have lawyers with them may meet in separate rooms in a private setting with the mediator. Both spouses will have a chance to speak on the matter and may have to answer questions from the mediator afterwards.
This is where the divorce is negotiated, and where you and your spouse agree or disagree on matters. It is important to be open to your spouse’s stance on the divorce and to listen to what they are saying. Finally, after much discussion, the mediator will write out an agreement and a parenting plan if necessary.
When Is Mediation Not the Best Option?
Many couples decide that mediation is their best option, however, it is recommended to not choose mediation in the following circumstances:
- If the marriage has a history of domestic abuse, mediation may not be for your situation, whether charges were filed or not
- Your spouse is hiding assets from you or has a history of hiding money or information.
- If your spouse does not agree to the divorce, they may work to delay the whole process because the mediator does not have the power to control either one of you.
Delaware County Family Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Couples Mediate Their Divorce
If you and your spouse are thinking about divorce, let our experienced Delaware County family lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. help you. Our knowledgeable and understanding legal team have decades of experience with these matters and will gladly help mediate your divorce. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.