Are you considering divorce mediation but need a little education on what it is and how it can help you? Below is a list of the top FAQs on divorce mediation.
Q: What is divorce mediation?
A: Divorce mediation is a process through which divorcing couples attempt to negotiate a divorce agreement with the assistance of a neutral third party; the mediator. The mediator aids the spouses in communication and negotiation but does not make the decisions for them
Q: How does divorce mediation differ from arbitration?
A: Although both mediation and arbitration involve neutral third parties, in mediation the neutral party holds no power regarding the decision making process. In arbitration, the third party - the arbitrator - decides the case like a judge would.
Q: Why is mediation better than going to a lawyer?
A: Using mediation almost always takes less time, costs less, and results in a more mutual agreement than if a lawyer had been hired. Especially in cases where children are involved, mediation improves communication and makes future interactions more peaceful.
Q: How does court-ordered mediation and private mediation differ?
A: Court ordered mediation is ordered by the court as a part of the divorce process. Sometimes, mediation is required to settle issues concerning custody or visitation. Court ordered mediation usually concerns child custody and visitation issues while private mediation usually settles financial issues and property division. The fees for court ordered mediation are usually waived, while private mediators charge an hourly or per-session fee. While private mediation is confidential, the court ordered mediator reports back to the court.
Q: How can mediating spouses protect their legal rights?
A: Divorce includes legal questions so every divorcing spouse should completely understand their legal rights before agreeing to a settlement. Consulting a lawyer can help answer any questions the mediator leaves unanswered. Early in the process, it helps to do your own research to clarify any questions you need answered.
Q: Does the mediator have to meet with both spouses at the same time or can they each meet separately?
A: This differs depending on the mediator’s or the spouses’ preferences. While some mediators do prefer to meet separately with each spouse, others favor joint meetings with more direct communication. This is best dependent on the couple’s preferences.
Q: How much will divorce mediation cost me?
A: While most mediation includes an hourly or per-session fee, others such as court ordered mediations are complimentary or offered at a reduced fee. The amount of sessions required to reach a mutual agreement will differ depending on the couple, as will the cost of the mediation. A private practice mediator can charge anywhere from $100 to a couple hundred dollars per hour depending on the mediator.
Q: How long does mediation take?
A: Mediation definitely takes less time than litigation. Depending on the issues at hand, it can take anywhere from a day to a few days to weeks to months.
Do you have more questions about divorce mediation?
Your questions can be answered by going to divorcemediators.com.