Divorce Mediation is a process where you and your spouse meet together with a mediator who is a neutral party committed to helping you resolve your issues without the need of court intervention. You work to come to an agreement about asset division, child custody, child support, and spousal support.
The mediator does not tell you what to do, but guides you through the process, letting you know what options you have and helping you decide together what’s best for family members under a new and different structure designed for compatibility.
Unlike traditional litigation, mediation is a non-adversarial process with the goal of assisting each one of you in making informed decisions so you can head into an animosity free future. This is particularly helpful to you if you are parents who will be interacting with each other throughout your children’s lives.
Who Are Good Candidates for Mediation?
Couples who are hoping to stay amicable, especially those with children, who want to be fair, are good candidates for mediation. As long as both want an equitable resolution, and both recognize the need as parents to interact peacefully, mediation should work well for them.
Generally speaking, mediation is not the best approach if domestic violence is involved. However, even in those cases, if the goal of each spouse is to be fair, divorce issues can be worked out through mediation.
Who Are Not Good Candidates for Mediation?
If there is an imbalance of power, and one party is more controlling over the other, as is the case in divorces involving domestic abuse, mediation may not be the best approach.
If one party alleges misappropriation of community assets, there are discovery issues. Discovery is generally not part of mediation and these types of allegations are one aspect of the divorce that is not conducive to the mediation process. Also, the mediator doesn’t have the power to make decisions for the parties and the couple must be ready to problem solve.
How Long Does Mediation Take?
Mediation is not as time-consuming as traditional litigation. Generally, the issues can be resolved in two to six sessions, with each session lasting between 90 and 120 minutes. The amount of time you will need depends on the issues that need to be resolved. If it is not a complicated case, and there are a lot of issues the parties already agree on, it can go pretty fast.
For more information about divorce mediation, you can download our guide or call 213-351-1000 to schedule a consultation.