Deciding to get divorced can be emotional and the divorce process does not help with calming the emotions.
This is why many couples choose to go through mediation during their divorce.
If you are going through a divorce or are thinking about a divorce, it is important to understand the process and the role of mediation.
Do You Need a Lawyer with Mediation?
There are a lot of people who wonder if they still need to hire a divorce solicitor if they are going through divorce mediation.
It is recommended that you still have independent legal advice from a specialist law firm that specialises in one legal service because they will be looking out for your best interests. Additionally, the lawyer will be able to start the divorce process for you.
A divorce law firm will also know mediators that you can work with. Your mediator will be able to provide you with legal information, but will not be able to give the legal advice that you get from a lawyer.
Having a lawyer will also give you someone who can read through the divorce agreement before you sign to ensure that you are getting a fair deal.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
All of these issues become bigger when you are faced with the emotions of divorce. This is where mediation will come into play because the mediator is there to facilitate discussions and ensure that each partner has their say.
Mediation is like having a referee who is completely impartial help you steer your discussions in a constructive manner.
Mediators are also able to provide you with information which will make the divorce process smoother. They can also outline all of the options that are available to you and when you reach an agreement the mediator will create the memorandum of understanding which sets out the divorce agreement.
One of the primary benefits of going through mediation is that you will not have to take your divorce case before a judge. You will be able to work out an amicable separation of property and custody rights.
When the divorce is taken to a judge, they will make the final decision based on what they believe is fair in the situation.
How Does Mediation Work?
Knowing that mediation can help you is important, but you also need to know what the mediation process entails.
Mediation will traditionally start with the mediator meeting you and your partner separately to ensure that you are both comfortable and safe to meet together and mediate. This could be done in person or over the phone.
In the first mediation session, you will discuss what the agenda of the mediation is and the issues that you want to address. The mediator will then help you get information and discuss these issues. Mediation will generally last for 4 to 5 sessions when there are no major problems or issues.
Should You Look At Mediation?
Mediation is not compulsory when you get divorced, but it is recommended that you try to work everything out through mediation. Of course, this does not mean that mediation is the right option for everyone.
There are many couples that do not benefit from mediation and this will generally be when there is little trust that each partner will be open and honest.
Mediation will also not be helpful if someone is unreasonable about their demands in the divorce. In these cases, the mediator will have a hard time getting them to agree to anything and the sessions will not be productive.
You also need to feel safe during the mediation process and this is not the case in divorces where there was abuse in the marriage.