What Is Mediation in Divorce? DoNotPay Explains the Process!
Don’t know what mediation is? There’s no need to worry—DoNotPay has got your back! Our article will explain what mediation in divorce is and how it works!
- Distribution of property
- Child custody and child support
- Parenting time
Not being on the same page about one (or several) of these areas will be an issue—this is where mediation comes in.
Mediation is a process used to help soon-to-be-ex spouses reach an agreement on every aspect of their divorce settlement.
The person who helps couples find the middle ground is called the mediator. Mediators are neutral and do not work for either party—they are not allowed to take sides.
A mediator’s main job is to help couples come up with ideas that will solve their disagreements. They guide the couple through discussing everything openly and in confidence.
Mediation is voluntary, and it continues for as long as the couple and the mediator deem necessary. Both the duration and the cost depend on the severity of the issues and the level of communication between the spouses.
To speed up the process, both parties should have a clear idea of the main issue and what they want to get out of mediation.
Mediation in divorce generally consists of five steps:
- Introduction to mediation
- Gathering of information
- Finding out the needs and interests
- Negotiating a fair settlement
- Reaching a conclusion
In the first step, the spouses need to give the mediator some necessary information about the case. The mediator will explain how the process will be conducted. The mediator will also suggest the optimal approach, depending on the complexity of the case.
The mediator will discuss all the legal issues that apply to the case—from the division of assets and debts to alimony. Spouses will be asked to bring their financial documents, such as tax returns or bank statements.
This step may take more than one session to complete as the mediator will have to ensure that the parties have everything ready to negotiate a valid agreement.
This stage of mediation helps the spouses involved figure out what their ideal outcome of the divorce is—also known as needs and interests. This can refer to debt division, child custody, etc. If the spouses’ interests differ greatly, the mediator will have to find a compromise.
This stage can be completed in separate or joint sessions.
When the needs and interests are identified, the mediator will have to negotiate a settlement that’s fair to both parties. The spouses need to discuss their options and figure out the best solution.
In the concluding stage of the mediation process, the mediator will give an unofficial settlement agreement to both spouses to review. If there are no unresolved issues in the case, the spouses will be given a memorandum. The mediator will summarize the key points of the agreement that the couple can use to prepare a formal settlement agreement, which they will file with the court.
An affordable way to draft a tailor-made divorce settlement agreement is DoNotPay!
Our Divorce Settlement Agreement feature allows you to create a tailor-made agreement that will make sure you get the fair terms you deserve. To get one, follow these simple steps:
- Sign up for DoNotPay
- Give us the details about your spouse and children
- Tell us about your financial assets and income and how you want to allocate them
Upon submitting, you will be asked if you want to get your documents notarized through the same app, and you’ll receive your agreement in no time.
A mediator can’t file divorce papers unless they’re an attorney.
Need more answers to divorce-related questions? DoNotPay has prepared some handy articles that you should check out, including:
- What’s the best way of serving divorce papers?
- Can you get a divorce without a lawyer?
- Why do people get divorced?
- How to file for divorce if one of the spouses is out of state
- How to get divorced without going to court
- What is an online divorce?
If you need help with divorce laws in various U.S. locations, see the table below:
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