Is Mediation Required for Divorce in Minnesota?

What are Alternative Dispute Resolutions?

Alternative Dispute Resolutions, or ADR, are alternative ways of resolving a problem in the hope that you can avoid a long, drawn-out court case, save money, and have a much less painful experience.  Unless you have a history of spousal abuse in Minnesota, you will be ordered to use ADR, usually mediation, before proceeding to court.

Is Mediation the Same thing as an Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Mediation isn’t the only type of Alternative Dispute Resolution, but it is the most common and most successful form of ADR. And it is undoubtedly the most well-known. Disputing parties often rely on mediation to make decisions more effectively and avoid litigation.

How Effective is Mediation?

In Minnesota, It can be beneficial, but you will only get out of it what you put in. There are a few things that must happen for mediation to work well for your family.

You and your spouse should have no history of domestic violence. This is non-negotiable.

You and your spouse must agree:

  •         That it is time to divorce.
  •         On child custody terms, including visitation.
  •         To be open and honest about finances, including assets and debts.
  •         On property division.
  •         On terms of child support.

You may not come to the table in full agreement; after all, that is what the mediator will help you reach. But you should be open to hearing one another out. When you allow yourself to be open to the process, the mediator can help you develop options that can work for everyone involved. Having an outside party come into your situation can help clarify things.

It is vital to continue to communicate. If the lines of communications shut down, then the whole process stops.

What Does Mediation Mean, Legally?

Nothing. You may be saying WHAT??? Then why would we take the time to do it? It’s simple. Because it works, and it can save you a lot of money. But a mediator can never be called as a witness. The mediation process is confidential in Minnesota. The agreement you reach is also not a legally binding one. Once you have agreed to all of the things that other couples spend a fortune in court fighting over, you bring your agreement before a judge, who will then sign off on it.

How do we do the paperwork that we must give the judge?

You can hire a neutral, experienced attorney to fill out and file the paperwork to ensure that everything goes smoothly. The attorneys at White & Associates in Elk River, MN are here for you whether you have a difficult divorce and need us to fight for your rights or an amicable one that requires a neutral party to handle the paperwork after mediation. Contact us today