Divorce mediation is a cost-effective alternative to litigating family law issues in court. Importantly, Family Court Services helps divorcing spouses resolve pending legal issues. Visit Family Court Services Mediation Programs for more information about reasonably priced mediation services for divorcing and separating couples. In some situations, divorce mediation to resolve custody and visitation issues can be of obtained free of charge. Read on to learn more about the benefits of divorce mediation.
Common issues discussed during family law mediation include the following:
- Child custody, visitation and support
- Spousal support and Smith/Ostler payments
- Division of marital property
- Assignment of assets and debts
- Retirement account division
Prior to going to mediation, each spouse will get a chance to speak with the mediator. The mediator will ask a series of questions to find out some general information about each spouse and any issues he/she seeks to have resolved. During the first mediation session, the mediator will explain her role in helping each spouse reach a resolution. The mediator may have the couple in the same room during the entire mediation session or separate them into separate conference rooms. Depending on the nature of the issues, subsequent mediation sessions may be required. Child custody mediation is conducted along the same lines but is restricted to dealing just with issues about the children.
The mediator tries to help the couple negotiate an agreement. Once all issues are resolved, the mediator may draft a settlement agreement. More often, however, the mediator will refer the parties to a Registered Legal Dicument Assistant to draft the agreement. The settlement agreement will be attached to the divorce judgment or other order.
Both parties should be flexible and mentally stable before attending a mediation session. Being open-minded can help the couple reach a resolution in a reasonable amount of time. Keep in mind, mediation is neither adversarial or argumentative. Both spouses must cooperate and collaborate to reach a resolution.
When to Consider Divorce Mediation
If you seek to avoid litigating marital issues in court, mediation may be a good option for you. Mediating child custody and other divorce issues can be low-cost and often the fastest way to resolve these issues and get divorced. Mediation allows each spouse to control the outcome of the legal process. Mediation may not be a good option when one of the parties has suffered from domestic violence.
Divorce Mediation Costs
Mediation is less costly than adversarial litigation and sometimes it can actually be free. For example, the court typically provides free divorce mediation to resolve issues of child custody, visitation and support when one of the parties files a Motion. For more comprehensive mediation, the parties can hire a private divorce mediator. A divorce mediator in private practice may charge anywhere from $100 to $350 per hour depending on where their office is located. Some mediators charge a flat fee for each session. The number of sessions needed to negotiate an agreement will depend on several factors. A typical divorce mediation session last between 3 – 4 hours.
Contact A People’s Choice for more information about how to schedule and prepare for divorce mediation.