Some Things to Expect From Divorce Mediation
Did you know that mediation can produce an agreement in up to 80% of cases? With the divorce rate at about 50% of all marriages in the U.S., this is a solution that has had a dramatic increase. There are some things to expect from a divorce lawyer during a mediation session.
Discussions With Structure
You will want a mediator who opens structured discussions concerning the division of assets, custody arrangements and payment of support. You will need to reveal your finances. Talking about your goals for after the divorce should be encouraged.
If the discussion goes off-topic, a good mediator will steer the talk back to the subject. Emotions may be high, and the session should not be used for counseling. You may want to bring any supporting documentation with you to the meeting.
An Experienced Mediation and Divorce Lawyer
A local and experienced mediator should be your choice. Since the divorce process is easier with those who have local knowledge, finding a mediator through the internet is not a good choice. A lawyer who practices in your jurisdiction will be the best source. An attorney will know the laws of your area and can help prevent costly mistakes.
Guidance From a Professional
In its origins, mediation did not include any guidance from those who ran the sessions. Many of the traditional mediators still use this method when conducting divorce mediation. Mediators may not give you specific legal advice, but they can advise you on how your case may play out in court. They know what is considered fair and the rule-of-thumb in your area.
Mediators will work with you and your estranged spouse with a focus on how to settle the differences that exist. There will be no testimony or legal arguments, and the mediator will not make decisions for you. You are always free to reject a proposal made by your spouse. The mediator will let you know which issues are not open to negotiation and will clarify anything you do not understand.
No Taking of Sides
A good mediator should be neutral, especially when dealing with divorce, when emotions may surface. This is especially important when discussing custody and support. If you think that your mediator has a bias, it may be time to find a new professional to conduct the sessions.
Something Not to Expect From Divorce Mediation
There is one thing you should be aware of. Mediation is not a way to gain an advantage over your spouse. You will not get better results if you are the higher-earning spouse. Mediation should not be used to keep your spouse from hiring an attorney for representation. If this is the case, most likely, your mediation will not succeed.
The Benefits of Divorce Mediation
The divorce process is never easy. However, divorce mediation may make it run more smoothly and less stressfully. Divorce can affect you both financially and emotionally. Mediation is usually less expensive than a litigated and contested divorce. Another advantage is that communication is more open, and cases may reach a conclusion more quickly. The goal is to find solutions that work for everyone.
In order to reach an agreement, you must be open to compromise and be willing to listen to your spouse’s point of view. Although you may not understand it, you can still listen. Listening closely may help you think of a new way to resolve the issue.
At the end of the negotiations, with some or all your issues resolved, you will have a written agreement. In some cases, a parenting schedule or plan may be included. If you have not been able to agree on all the issues, you will have to do so or let the judge decide after a court hearing.
We are your local divorce lawyer and can help you with the process of mediation. Our Pennsylvania offices are located in Montgomery County, Bucks County and Philadelphia County. Call the Law Offices of Joanne Kleiner at (215) 886-1266 or use our contact form to arrange an appointment.
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