It is encouraged that the parties going through divorce or separation attempt alternative dispute resolution (ADR) such as mediation to negotiate the terms of their separation before entering into litigation. Some pros’ for attempting mediation are:
- Is substantially cheaper than going to court
- Can produce better results
- Can reduce stress because you are not adversarial
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Divorce Mediation FAQs
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
The lawyer will work with both parties in the relationship rather than just one of them. The lawyers job will be to work with both individuals to reach a fair settlement for the issues involved in the divorce and separation. The lawyer will outline the best case and worst case scenarios for both parties and present to them a diverse range of terms that can be negotiated for each party attempting to fairly resolve the issues.
Because the goal is for both parties to attempt resolution with the mediator, they are keeping their costs low by jointly paying for the fees of only one lawyer and avoiding expensive litigation. The lawyer then attempts to mediate a fair settlement.
Another factor that makes mediation a strong alternative to litigation is that the hired lawyer acts for both parties and as such will not take one parties side over the other. The mediator will not have any self interest in the matter.
What If Mediation Doesn't Help?
If mediation doesn’t help you and your partner resolve all the issues surrounding your divorce/separation then you do not loose your legal right to have your matter heard in Court. The lawyer who was mediating for the parties cannot act as counsel for one of you. You will both need to retain different lawyers.
Mediation Was Successful - Now What?
Once a settlement is reached, you can then enter the terms of your resolution into a separation agreement. Next, you can proceed to divorce and file the necessary paperwork for the divorce judgement. The divorce judgement terms will reflect the terms of the separation agreement. Since there will be no outstanding issues one of the parties will undertake to complete the necessary legal steps to finalize the legal divorce in Court. This process will then be a joint “desk divorce”. You can learn more about uncontested and joint divorces here. Because both parties have entered into an agreement, an uncontested divorce and joint divorce does not require court appearances.