Going through a divorce can be stressful. There may be several matters to resolve related to domestic support, children, and property division, depending on the couple's circumstances. Parties who want to avoid a trial may choose divorce mediation to settle these matters. With the help of a Michigan divorce mediation attorney, you can work to achieve a cooperative agreement with your spouse that addresses your concerns and resolves the issues related to the divorce without the necessity of a long, costly, stressful court battle.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is the process of negotiating a settlement of issues related to the divorce with the assistance of a neutral third party. Mediation can be court-ordered, or a couple may pursue mediation on their own. During mediation, the mediator facilities discussions regarding a number of issues. Although the parties may express their opinions and concerns, the mediator keeps the parties focused on discussing relevant issues and potential settlements.
A mediator does not have the authority to make decisions for the couple. The mediator's sole role is to facilitate open discussions aimed at resolving disputes. Mediators are trained to help parties focus on the issues at hand instead of focusing on blame. The mediator helps couples engage in respectful and productive conversations.
A benefit of mediation is that the parties have more flexibility to decide how matters are resolved instead of allowing a judge to make those decisions.
What Can You Expect During Divorce Mediation?
The process of divorce mediation is generally the same for all couples, even though the discussions during mediation are unique and specific to the couple. Most mediations begin with a statement from the mediator explaining the mediation process and answering questions that the parties might have. The mediator allows each party to make a statement regarding any concerns or issues that the party wants to address during mediation.
The mediator assists the couple in setting an agenda for the mediation process. The agenda includes the issues the parties want to resolve, as well as the proposed schedule for the mediation. Divorce mediation may result in a settlement in just one meeting. However, some couples may meet several times during divorce mediation to negotiate a settlement.
The mediator addresses each of the issues one at a time. During the negotiation stage, the mediator encourages the parties to discuss various alternatives and compromises to each of the issues. The mediator may offer suggestions for new ideas or ways to generate additional options for resolving each issue. Throughout the negotiation, the mediator tracks the various offers by each party.
If the parties reach an agreement, the mediator prepares a Memorandum of Agreement setting forth the terms of the settlement between the parties. The agreement becomes part of the final divorce order. If the parties are unable to reach an agreement through divorce mediation, the case continues to a hearing for a judge to render an opinion and order settling the disputed matters.
Contact a Michigan Divorce Attorney for Help
Mediators do not provide legal advice. For that reason, you need a Michigan divorce attorney to advise you during the divorce mediation process. Also, there could be instances in which divorce mediation is not advised. Contact our office today. Our attorneys help you review your options and choose a course of action that protects you and your children.