Divorce mediation is a process that enables you and your spouse to cooperatively reach resolution on the terms of your divorce. With the guidance of a trained neutral mediator, you will have a dialogue about the issues that you both need to decide for you to be able to move forward with your separate lives.
It may not be easy to communicate with someone you are divorcing. That is where the mediator’s skill and training can help. Sarah will guide you both to express your unique needs for every issue discussed, so they are understood. In addition to helping you communicate your needs, the mediator provides a comfortable setting where you are able to brainstorm options and determine their feasibility. The mediator will do her best to make sure that you make informed decisions. If you get stuck, the mediator may offer options, but the final decisions are always yours – not a judge’s, not an attorney’s, and not the mediator’s. It is, after all, your family, and you are in the best position to understand your needs, and the needs of your family.
Divorce mediation is flexible, voluntary and confidential. It is your process. If, for example, you decide you want to work quickly, we can schedule sessions close to each other; if, on the other hand, you need more time, we can schedule sessions further apart. The confidentiality of mediation encourages the openness required for it to be successful. Mediators cannot be subpoenaed to testify at a subsequent court hearing.
Divorce mediation works especially well where there are children involved. Choosing a process to divorce which fosters understanding and highlights cooperation is especially beneficial when there will be an ongoing co-parenting relationship.
The areas typically covered in divorce mediation are: the development of a parenting plan, division of assets and debts and determination of financial support.
- Parenting Plan: This includes the child(ren)’s schedule(s) for seeing both parents, how they will spend holidays, and how parents will make the major decisions regarding the child(ren).
- Division of Assets and Debts: This includes items such as the marital home, retirement accounts, investment accounts, businesses, bank accounts, cars.
- Financial Support: This includes items such as child support, spousal maintenance, health insurance and life insurance.
Other issues that are significant to you can also be raised and discussed in mediation. An example of such an issue is communication, e.g.: how and when will you communicate about the children? Another issue is visits with extended family members, e.g.: when and how often would such visits take place?
When the mediation concludes, the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding, a summary of all the decisions made in the mediation. Should you wish to proceed to divorce, this Memorandum will be presented to an attorney who will prepare a legal contract to be submitted to the Court along with various required court forms.
The divorce process can be overwhelming. Mediation takes a difficult situation and makes it less difficult. Rest assured, we will be there every step of the way, to offer our understanding, professional guidance and knowledge.