To dissolve a marriage, there must be a demand, but it is not necessary to follow the traditional process of litigation to set the terms of the divorce. Today, many couples choose mediation to resolve their disputes and negotiate the terms of their divorce. Mediation is a process in which an impartial mediator facilitates the resolution of a dispute by promoting a voluntary agreement between the parties. The mediator facilitates communication, promotes understanding, makes the parties focus on their interests and look for a creative solution to the problems so that the parties could reach an agreement.
Objectives of mediation in the divorce
Whether the parties have agreed to voluntary mediation or has been the court who referred them, the objectives of the process of divorce mediation are the following:
- create a divorce agreement that is fair, legally robust and accepted by both parties;
- to avoid the expense and trauma that often accompany litigation;
- minimize the hostility and controversy subsequent to the dissolution of the marriage.
Why to opt for mediation in the divorce?
With the increase in the divorce rate, couples are frustrated with the excessive costs and delays associated with the overhead that weighs on the system of litigation. Therefore, they have sought ways to have a major role to determine the details of their divorces. In the same way, the judicial system has recognized the importance of developing methods for dealing with disputes out of court. It is for this reason that the mediation programs have gained popularity across the country.
Virtually all states require mediation in custody disputes of a minor and the judicial systems of many states provide services such as early intervention in conflicts, conciliation services, community centers, dispute resolution, educational seminars for divorcing couples, mediation, and conferences to make arrangements. Today, the mediation, whether voluntary or ordered by the court, is the predominant method for resolving disputes of couples going through divorce.
Mediation in divorce: Advantages
Mediation is a discussion in which a neutral mediator facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation, understanding and agreement. Mediation is particularly appropriate for divorces and other legal procedures of family because it is very likely to continue to exist a relationship between the parties, particularly if there are children of by means. Many divorcing couples believe that mediation allows them to avoid the costs, financial and emotional of litigation of divorce. Because it comes faster to an agreement, the costs are reduced. Mediation also allows couples to avoid the risks of trial, protects confidentiality, and decreases the stress of the conflict. Mediation can also protect the children from the pain product of the conflict between their parents. Because the parties work to create their own agreements, couples who use mediation for your divorce settlement often end up more satisfied than those that go to trial. In addition, couples learn skills that will help them resolve future conflicts.
Mediation in divorce: not for everyone
While many people believe that mediation is an excellent alternative to litigation for divorce, it may not work for everyone. It is not as effective when one side can’t express their opinions openly and without fear, or when the parties refuse to make concessions or to mediate in good faith. In addition, some commentators are of the legal fear that mediators may not handle the complex financial arrangements involved in some divorce settlements.
The mediation process of divorce
In many states, divorce cases end up in mediation because they are referred by the court or by written agreement between the parties. If the court refers a case to mediation, notify the parties. In most states, the parties then have the opportunity to challenge a mediation if there is a reasonable basis, such as family violence.
Once you decide to mediate, it is necessary to find a mediator. Many counties have mediation centers community or as part of the judicial system. If the mediation is carried out by order of the court, this latter can be assigned to a mediator or allow the parties to choose by common agreement, a mediator qualified. The mediators may be someone whose profession may not necessarily be the attorney. The fees vary according to the mediator, and as the case may be. These may be charged by the hour, by day or by half day.
In general, mediators help the parties to meet, discuss options and negotiate a mutual agreement to resolve their dispute. The mediators do not determine who is right and who is not. Instead, help the parties reach by themselves a solution that works for all involved. The parties should seek mediators who have training in mediation, experience and specific knowledge of family law. It is also important to consider the style of the mediator and his philosophy of mediation.
The rules of mediation
The preparation of the mediation is usually limited, because there is not a formal process of evidence production (revelation). Often, the mediation begins with a “formal meeting” (caucus), where the parties and the mediator are located. The mediator establishes the ground rules in a mediation agreement”. In mediations ordered by the court, the order issued frequently contains or makes reference to the “rules of mediation”. One of the rules of mediation is the most important requirement of confidentiality. Typically, all matters disclosed or discussed during the mediation and record everything that takes place during the procedure are confidential and, generally, will not be disclosed to anyone unless the parties agree to do so. In addition, state law may require that the mediator will maintain confidentiality.
After that the mediator covers the rules of mediation and ensures that they are signed all the necessary agreements to mediate, explains the process of mediation. The parties or their representatives then you can do initial pleadings to identify issues and clarify perceptions. Many mediators encourage the parties to open up dialogue during the general meeting.
If the parties are hostile or overly sensitive, the mediator separates and organizes “private meetings”. A private meeting is a conference between the mediator and one party, without is present the other party. The mediator passes offers and demands between the parties. During the private meetings, the conversations between one of the parties and the mediator are confidential unless they authorize the mediator to disclose the information to the other party.
If the case is not resolved
It is not required that the parties to a mediation reach an agreement, and sometimes do not. Whether the case is resolved or you reach an impasse, the mediator usually meets with both parties at the end of the session. If the case is not resolved or reaches an impasse, the mediator will probably encourage the parties to attend another mediation session. If the case is resolved, the mediator will urge the parties to sign an agreement. A written settlement agreement is a contract between the parties, generally as binding as any other written contract. In general, there is no record of the mediation session and the only document produced is the settlement (or mediation). And if no agreement is reached, the parties may decide to go to litigation.
Family law: How to obtain the help of an attorney
If you are facing a potential disputes about divorce, custody or child support, or for other reasons, a lawyer specializing in family law can help you with a fair representation of the parties in the process. A lawyer specializing in family law will work to obtain the best possible result. The first step is to find a lawyer specializing in family law in your area.