While it’s great that divorce mediation has risen in popularity as a favorable alternative to divorce litigation, there are many misconceptions about how the process exactly works. Some couples worry that mediation won’t be a viable option for them. In reality, mediation can be highly beneficial for reducing animosity in the divorce process. Read this blog to learn the truth about mediation and how one of our Mediated Divorce Lawyers in Mansfield, MA can provide quality legal counseling.
IS DIVORCE MEDIATION A VIABLE OPTION FOR MOST DIVORCES?
Many people believe that mediation only works for low net worth couples with no children. In truth, mediation can be beneficial for more complex divorces as well. Many high net worth couples or spouses with children have been able to use mediation to their advantage. The two keys to a successful mediation are an experienced mediator and both spouses’ willingness to work toward a fair solution for both parties. As long as both spouses are reasonable and hire a talented, compassionate mediator, then mediation can be much more favorable than litigation.
WHAT DOES THE MEDIATOR DO?
The mediator is not a judge, nor do mediators force the couple into a specific settlement. The spouses have complete control to decide on a reasonable agreement that works for both of them. The mediator is mostly there to inform the spouses of the law process and ensure that the discussions remain civil. Having control over the process can be daunting if you have limited knowledge of how the legal procedure works. Mediators are trained both to resolve tense situations but also to provide extensive knowledge of the law to help guide couples through the divorce process. Most of the time, the mediator acts as the middleman in mediation sessions by informing the spouses of what they need to consider and then allowing them to reach an agreement themselves. The mediator’s role is to verify documentation, answer questions, diffuse animosity, and write up the final divorce settlement. Mediators can be attorneys or anyone else with professional law experience and extensive knowledge of divorce law.
DO YOU HAVE TO GO TO COURT IN THE MEDIATION PROCESS?
It’s unlikely you’ll need to take your settlement agreement to the courtroom if you opt for mediation. In fact, the point of mediation is to prevent divorcing couples from dealing with unnecessary courtroom battles. There’s a common misconception that mediation is not legally binding, but this is blatantly false. The mediator creates a legally binding agreement at the end of the last mediation session which both spouses sign to finalize the divorce. You can sue your spouse if they fail to follow the signed agreement because that would be a breach of contract. Most mediation cases don’t end up in the courtroom.
If you’re starting the divorce process and considering mediation, you should speak with a highly experienced divorce attorney for trusted legal advice. Reach out to the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C.