Category: Divorce

What Is Divorce Mediation Process

Mediation is a frequently used method of negotiating and settling the terms of a divorce. A neutral third party is hired to act as a mediator between two spouses in an effort to resolve issues and come to an arrangement that is acceptable to both parties and that is best for any children involved. The only thing that is needed for a successful divorce mediation is for both parties to be willing to negotiate with each other in an open and honest way and be prepared to make some compromises. Even if there are major issues that seem impossible to resolve, mediation has proven to be a powerful process that can resolve seemingly insurmountable differences if both parties are willing to commit to the process.

Divorce mediation is about you and your spouse deciding the terms of your own divorce and what will be best for both, and most importantly, your children if there are any. Mediation is voluntary and continues only for as long as you want it to, and you and your spouse make all the decisions during the mediation process. During mediation, you are encouraged to work through issues in an amicable way so that the marriage can be ended in an acceptable and cost-effective way. Some topics covered during mediation may include:

– Property distribution (assets and liabilities)
– Child support and maintenance
– Custody and Parenting time
– Retirement plans
– Taxes

Divorce Mediation Benefits

Anyone involved in a divorce should consider mediation as it works for most couples and has several benefits.

– It saves thousands of dollars in court trials and hearings.
– It is confidential with no public record of mediation sessions.
– It allows you to resolve issues based on what each party considers to be fair, instead of having impersonal and rigid legal principles imposed as the court does not control the process.
– In many cases, the mediation process improves communication between couples which helps to alleviate future conflicts.
– You are entitled to have a lawyer to assist you with legal advice if you so wish.
– Most divorce mediations are successful at resolving all issues and coming to an amicable agreement.

The Mediation Process

Some mediators prefer to gather information regarding your marriage, your family circumstances, and any marital issues you would like to have resolved on the phone before meeting. Others prefer you to provide information at the first meeting in the presence of your spouse. During the first meeting, the mediator will explain what can be expected from the process such as meeting in the same room for the entire process, or having separate sessions in order to present your own views and position on matters concerning the divorce.

Certain documents will have to be signed such as an agreement of confidentiality and non-disclosure that precludes the mediator from disclosing any information in future court proceedings. A good mediator will endeavor to establish rapport with both parties and try to make you feel comfortable with the procedure. Sometimes agreements are reached easily but sometimes it can take a lot of time and work. When agreements are not easy to reach, the mediator will intervene, mainly to keep the lines of communication clear and open. The mediator assists in brainstorming sessions to help reach agreements, teach empathy for each other, and assist in the decision-making process. They help keep the focus when things go off track and away from the stated issues. Things like arguments, name calling and bad memories that do not serve the mediation process are avoided while the mediator remains impartial and neutral.

Divorce mediation is flexible and gives each spouse a means to settle conflicts and work together for the best result. This is extremely important if there are children involved as you will have to have contact with each other after the divorce. Lack of communication is the most common reason for divorce and mediation can help a couple learn to communicate better, if only for the sake of the children.

Please watch the video below to learn some steps to take when preparing for divorce mediation.

What Is A Collaborative Divorce?

If you’re curious to learn more about what a collaborative divorce truly is and how it works in practice, then you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at collaborative divorce and everything that it entails, so let’s get straight to it.

First of all, a collaborative divorce is a term that simply means the divorce process is redefined from a combative frame into a problem resolution frame, with an emphasis on finding solutions that work for both parties, rather than one party winning and beating the other.

As you would expect, this form of divorce can be highly beneficial for both parties involved, particularly when it comes to issues such as child custody, property division, and more. Additionally, collaborative divorce often means that the case doesn’t need to go to court to settle key issues, as they can simply be worked out using mediation and negotiation tactics that can be arbitrated by the attorneys of either party.

There are numerous benefits associated with using collaborative divorce rather than conventional law, and many people greatly appreciate the informal setting that it provides, along with the easier exchange of information that allows both parties to settle any disputes in an open and informal manner. What’s more, many people prefer this form of divorce law due to the fact that it saves quite a bit of money in attorney fees as well.

However, despite the more informal process, it’s still worth noting that collaborative divorce is still fully confidential and legal, although it tends to be far more convenient for every party, as it allows you to structure meetings around your own schedules rather than that of the courts. Of course, it also means that subpoenas will not be involved either.

Now that you understand the basics of what collaborative divorce is, let’s take a closer look at how the process tends to unfold.

To begin with, both parties will hire an attorney, and each attorney will represent their client’s wishes during the mediation process. In general, you will meet with the attorney to discuss your primary needs and concerns, and they will do their best to represent you during the negotiation process.

At some point in the process, there will be a four-way meeting that allows all parties involved to develop solutions to the problems that can occur during the negotiation process, and if things become particularly difficult to resolve, then a licence mediator can also be hired to help the proceedings move along.

Another key aspect to understand about collaborative divorce is that there will usually be a ‘no court’ agreement signed by your attorneys, and this agreement dictates that your attorney will withdraw from the case if it does happen to continue on to litigation, although this is usually a rare occurrence if both parties agreed to a collaborative divorce from the start.

At the end of the day, it’s clear to see that using collaborative law can be a much better alternative for many people going through the difficult experience of a divorce.

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

Uncontested divorce is when both parties completely agree on all issues involved in a divorce. While many divorces end amicably, an amicable divorce is far different than an uncontested divorce.

For example, there are many issues that arise in divorce proceedings that the parties may disagree on, from parental responsibilities to property division, and all the way to child support payments.

If there are any disagreements in any of the proposals made during the divorce, then the divorce is not truly uncontested. In our experience, many divorces begin amicably, and both parties assume they will have an uncontested divorce, but one issue tends to send the divorce proceedings down a different path. For example, both parties might agree on everything except for the amount of child support one party should receive on a monthly basis. Even if they agree on how much time they should spend with children, and who gets what real estate property, the divorce proceedings are still contested because of the one issue. Uncontested divorces have none of these issues.

If you have any questions about uncontested divorce, please check out the video below.