Mediation involves the assistance of a third-party neutral who helps the parties have a conversation about the contested matters and hopefully assist the parties in reaching a resolution. A mediator may not provide legal advice to either party, but will often draft a settlement agreement and parenting plan for the parties to review with their respective attorneys.
What is mediation?
Divorce mediation is a meeting of the parties and the mediator with the goal of working towards a resolution.  A mediator is considered a neutral person – meaning, the mediator should not provide legal advice to either party. The mediator’s role is to assist the parties with their settlement conversation by facilitating productive communication and generating ideas.
How long does mediation take?
The length of mediation is up to the parties. In most counties, mediation is voluntary – meaning, the court will not force the parties to attend mediation. Some couples are able to reach an agreement after only a few sessions. For other couples, progress can take much longer.
When can mediation be helpful?
Mediation is most suitable for those couples who are on fairly equal footing. To be successful, it is necessary that both sides come to the table willing to disclose all information. It is also helpful for both sides to have a good understanding of the financial issues.
When is mediation inappropriate?
Mediation is typically not appropriate in cases where domestic violence is present, where the parties have a lack of trust in each other, or where one side is unwilling to make a full disclosure on all issues.
Do I need a lawyer if I mediate?
Remember that mediators should not provide legal advice. As such, it is important that both sides have their own legal counsel throughout the mediation process. It is helpful if both sides seek legal advice at the beginning and throughout the mediation process so that the ultimate agreement can be crafted taking this legal advice into consideration.
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