How Mediation Can Help in a Divorce
Divorce mediation is a process to help you resolve issues with your spouse. It is something you can agree to do with your spouse to avoid the expense and risk of going to court and having a judge make important decisions for you.
Additionally, if you have already started the divorce process, a judge can order you to go through mediation on one or more specific issues. Often, this involves how to divide or value property or set up a custody and visitation schedule.
What Happens in Mediation, Stays in Mediation
An experienced mediator can take the sting out of working through these sensitive issues. Whether court-ordered or voluntary, the mediator does not report any information to the judge about what you discussed or resolved. If a judge ordered you to attend divorce mediation, then the mediator need only report that you attended and completed the process. That said, if you and your spouse wish to make the agreed-up terms from mediation part of your final divorce decree, the mediator can assist in delivering your terms to the court.
What You Can Expect From a Divorce Mediator
Whether you’ve been married for one month or one year, untangling your life from your spouse will be complicated. When you marry, you mix assets, have children, incur debt and buy things together. One of you may have inherited money from a parent that you’ve used to buy something that both you and your spouse have enjoyed. It can be very emotional and difficult to trace where certain property or money came from and separating what is marital versus non-marital property.
Helping you sort through your property issues with a neutral third party can make things less stressful for you. For instance, a mediator can help you:
- Resolve and divide your property faster
- Determine which issues to tackle first
- Which information to collect to document your legal interest in the property
- Determine spousal maintenance or alimony
- Engage the other professionals you might need to prove your case, like accountants or appraisers
- Create budgets for running two separate households and determine where the funds will come from for you and your children
About the Co-Parenting Mediation Process
As difficult as it is to divide up property, making decisions about child custody or support can be even harder. Mediators are specially trained to help you and your spouse do what is best for your children and separately, move forward and co-parent them.
Your mediator will work to keep the discussion civil and productive, helping you:
- Create a comprehensive parenting plan
- Agree on child-support payments if there is any reason to vary from the state guidelines
- Find a fair way to share expenses for the children by having a joint-checking account or setting up a reimbursement system, for example
- Employ creative ways to accomplish issues that come up when co-parenting children
Want More Information? We Can Help.
If you live in Minnesota and would like to know more, contact us. We will help you learn more about your divorce mediation options, and we can help you understand what court-ordered mediation means for your situation.