A successful mediation may be less likely, but it is not impossible. This is especially true when one spouse alleges that their partner is at fault in the end of the marriage. Consider hiring an attorney if you spouse is already one. If you have a lawyer, they will be able to help determine whether or not mediation would benefit your case. If you don’t have to deal with these kinds of issues, then divorce mediation may be the best option. The process is most effective if both sides are open to compromise.
You shouldn’t dismiss mediation because of your differences with your spouse. Don’t quit before the process has begun. Mediation is a powerful tool, and even cases that initially seem insurmountable can be resolved through mediation.
In collaborative law, both you and your partner hire attorneys specially trained in collaborative law who will represent you at settlement discussions. The mediator and judge are not involved. In most cases, the spouses’ attorneys and both sign a “no court” agreement. This requires their lawyers divorce to leave the case should you not be able to settle the dispute and it goes to trial. If this happens, both spouses must find new attorneys.
A downside to collaborative divorce is the fact that you have to restart divorce proceedings from scratch if negotiations do not go well. Finding (and paying for) a new divorce attorney can be a strong incentive to get spouses working toward an agreement. Prior to mediation, it is possible that you speak with the assistant or mediator and share background information regarding your marriage and family. Your mediator may ask you to complete a questionnaire. A mediator may also request that you write a’mediation statement’ outlining the issues related to divorce and your general information.
A mediator may ask that you sign a confidential agreement that states you will keep the information you share in mediation private and understand the mediator cannot disclose anything that happens in court.
Except for online mediations, most mediation sessions take place in comfortable offices or conference rooms. While some mediators will meet everyone together in one room, others may split the couple into two separate rooms and have private discussions. If couples are accompanied by lawyers, the mediator may ask that both parties meet separately before starting the mediation session.
The mediator will probably ask you and your partner to give a brief statement after he has dealt with the administrative issues, like the schedule for the meeting. Once you and your spouse have had the chance to talk, the mediator will ask a few questions in order to gain more clarity or information. The mediator may repeat or summarize what you say to ensure that they have understood.
In many cases the mediator, after you’ve completed your negotiations, will create a settlement agreement that includes a parenting schedule, or plan. Only the topics you settled during mediation will be included in your settlement agreement. You will need to come to an agreement on any unresolved topics later, or request a judge to rule on them following a hearing.