What does a mediator do?
A family law mediator is a neutral party specially trained to help couples resolve the issues in their divorce. The mediator facilitates the communication between the parties by making sure each party is given an uninterrupted time to speak, asking a party to restate or explain a point when necessary, and asking questions to make communication clear. The mediator also provides information about the legal system, how lawyers or judges may view issues, and problem-solving alternatives are available. When necessary, the mediator refers the couple to third party experts for services such as appraisals.
How does the mediation process work?
The couple and the mediator meet in a series of mediation sessions, usually 1 - 2 hours long. During the first session, the divorcing couple and the mediator identify all the issues involved. All subsequent meetings seek to achieve a compromise on all the issues at hand until the mediator can draft an agreement to be reviewed by both parties and their attorneys.
How long will it take?
The more complex your case is, the more sessions are required. Expect to spend at least three to four sessions in mediation, spread out across the course of a month or a couple months. Each session last one to three hours.
What should I bring to my first mediation session?
You need to bring financial statements, data, and information from your accountant, appraisers, and other relevant documents. You may need things like tax records, a list of your expenses, credit card statements, proof of income, and more. The more hard proof you have, the better.
Do I have to go to court?
No, mediation allows you to bypass most court hearings. However, you will need to have a judge approve your final settlement agreement for your divorce to be final and binding.
Will our mediation agreement be enforceable?
Once an agreement has been signed, that agreement is enforceable, however usually a judgment based on the agreement is prepared and filed with the court, and is just as enforceable as any other divorce judgment.
Should I see a lawyer during mediation?
You do not need an attorney during the mediation process. The legal system is complex and is expensive – mediation allows you to avoid that headache and expense. However, you may choose to consult with legal counsel during the course of your divorce.
What if my case is very complicated?
Most cases are not too complicated to settle using mediation. Frequently the parties consult with outside experts such as accountants, appraisers, financial planners, and attorneys during the process.
My ex and I don’t get along at all. Is that a problem for mediation?
Mediation is very beneficial to spouses who are having trouble communicating. A mediator is a non-biased third party who takes an objective view on all the issues at hand. Our mediators help spouses open the line of healthy communication, helping to lessen the burden of the emotional turmoil between you and your spouse. People do calm down and become effective mediation participants when they see that the process can work without adding to the high emotional and financial cost of divorce.
What if mediation doesn’t work?
Chances are, you and your spouse will work out most, if not all, of your issues during mediation. However, if you cannot reach a compromise by the end of your mediation sessions, you can either take time to think about them and come back to mediation, opt for arbitration, or litigate the remaining matters.
I am a father. Will I lose custody of my children?
Capital Mediation & Arbitration shows no preference to either gender when working our custody arrangements. Custody is determined based on the best interests of the child – gender has no bearing on the matter.
Call Capital Mediation & Arbitration today at 855-422-8555 to arrange a consultation with a member of our team. Our staff is happy to walk you through the process of mediation and answer additional questions.