In most cases, divorcing someone can be an overwhelming process which you would prefer to keep private. For that reason, using mediation in a divorce can help keep private matters private until an agreement becomes a court order.
In divorce mediation, the focus is on you and your soon to be ex-spouse’s best interests, as well as that if any children you may have.
Like all mediation processes, divorce mediation involves you and your spouse meeting a neutral mediator to help work through outstanding issues that need to be resolved to end your marriage as cost-effectively and amicably as possible.
What issues are discussed in divorce mediation?
The main issues covered by an experienced divorce mediator include:
- Property distribution including your assets and liabilities
- Child custody and parenting schedules where applicable
- Child support and maintenance where applicable
As with all negotiations, there will be some issues that are agreed upon easily, while others may take time and a lot more work.
Where disputes prove to be challenging to reach an agreement, the mediator will intervene to ensure that the lines of communication are kept open. Techniques include reality testing, brainstorming or ideas, empathy lessons, and assistance in the decision making process.
It is crucial to understand that each mediator has their own technique of carrying out the mediation process. This is why you should carry out your due diligence before engaging a mediator to ensure that their process works for you.
Overall, the mediator will help you and your spouse focus on the issues at hand without getting side tracked. Couples who go off track tend to delve in bad experiences such as arguments and name-calling along with bad past recollections arising.
The advantage of mediation in a divorce
Mediation is confidential and flexible with room for creative agreements to be in place.
It gives you and your spouse a way to resolve issues as respectful adults. Where there are children involved, going through mediation to settle the conflict will help the family bond somewhat remain by being out of the public eye, i.e. in a courtroom.
Mediation also creates a communication line for parents to discuss paramount issues pertaining to their children. As the mediator is purposed to help the couple learn to communicate, even if only for the sake of their children, the process may help facilitate a healthy post-divorce relationship.
The great thing about a divorce mediator is that they are a neutral party to the conflict and will not take sides. No advice will be provided by the mediator which is refreshing given how the final agreement will be mustered based on your own decisions and not someone else’s.
Mediators can, however, assist you with formulating ideas that are realistic and sensible which may then facilitate the creation of agreements. The point is that, by voluntarily agreeing to mediate in the first place, that in itself is the first agreement between you and your spouse for an amicable divorce.
The divorce mediation process opens up a free exchange of information built in confidence. And because both parties work with the same information, it often means a quicker time to negotiate a reasonable resolution.
How long does divorce mediation take?
Mediation sessions can be conducted weekly, fortnightly, monthly, or whatever suits the couple entering mediation.
The length of mediation varies depending on the complexity of the issues being dealt with. The amount of time spent in mediation is also dependent on the willingness of both parties to reach an agreement and the willingness to do what is best for the children (where applicable).
In some cases, online mediation platforms pride themselves with 30 day outcomes due to the conveniences and other advantages attached with online divorce mediation.
How much does divorce mediation cost?
The average cost of traditional mediation is $195 for a three and a half hour session. On average, pre-decree divorce mediations can be completed within 4 to 10 sessions. Again, the length of the mediation process puts a direct impact on the cost of traditional mediation.
It is worth noting that there are online mediation platforms that offer fixed pricing, which is far more attractive than the uncertain costs of traditional mediation.