The Truth - the Winning Argument for Your Case

26 Mar. 2013

What should you expect during a Divorce Mediation?

Posted By The Buncher Law Corporation

It should come as no surprise that dissolution is an extremely stressful event, no matter whether mediation or litigation is in play. Tempers can run high, and emotions are intense. Though the mediation process can't extinguish these feelings, your mediator can give you some tools for managing anger and expectations.

Most importantly, your mediator can remind you that a successful process requires you and your spouse to keep coming to the negotiating table, no matter your personal feelings for each other. Spouses who can't handle being in the same room together are not candidates for mediation.

Usually, your first meeting with a mediator will focus on setting ground rules and laying a foundation for future meetings. Mediators will discuss principles of confidentiality with you, and let you know that he or she will be neutral throughout the process. Your mediator is not an advocate for you and your position, and both parties need to understand this up front.

This initial meeting will also give you and your spouse an opportunity to issue spot, and decide what type of assistance you need to reach a full agreement. You and your spouse will be expected to sign a retainer agreement, and agree on how your mediator will be paid. Mediators generally charge an hourly rate for services rendered, but certain cases are appropriate for a single flat-fee rate. This depends on the circumstances of your case, and the issues you present. You and your spouse can decide how the mediator's fee will be split.

Subsequent sessions will eventually cover all issues of your case: the disposition of your finances, real estate, debt, tax liabilities and, of course, child custody, child support and/or visitation. The mediator will work through each issue with you and ultimately draft a Settlement Agreement. The parties will work with the mediator on clarification and review of the draft and complete a final agreement that can be submitted to the court as a judgment.

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