Couples who don’t want to hire lawyers but need help settling their divorce can engage a mediator to help. Mediation is assisted in settlement negotiation. A divorce mediator is someone who is knowledgeable about all the issues which arise in divorce and is specially trained to be neutral and help couples come to agreements. A mediator will not make a decision for you; instead, he or she will help you identify what’s most important to you; generate and evaluate options, and come up with the best plan for your family by agreement.
You and your spouse may be able to reach an agreement with only the help of the Negotiated Divorce structured settlement process — most of the couples we help to reach their own agreements without assistance. Collaborative Law is a settlement where both parties agree to not contest in court. For those with more complicated issues or who find themselves stuck on a specific topic, Negotiated Divorce offers live mediation services.
Although the mediator can’t be on either party’s side, he or she can help you identify and understand the issues that need to be addressed, and will help you avoid re-inventing the wheel. An experienced mediator will have seen many couples through the trying time of divorce and may have ideas for coming to agreements that never occurred to you.
Mediation will not work if both spouses don’t have all the information they need to make informed decisions. A good mediator will walk you through the decisions that need to be made, but he or she will not give you legal advice. Couples using the Negotiated Divorce structured settlement process are provided with all the information they need — or, they’re given guidance about how to collect the information they need — to make intelligent decisions about their divorce. If you get stuck on an issue, our mediators are here to help.
Strengths of a Mediated Divorce
- A mediator helps balance negotiating power between spouses
- Mediators assure that all necessary issues are addressed in an agreement
- The mediation process helps parties stay focused on settling and keep from arguing
- Mediators can offer creative alternatives that may not occur to the parties
Weaknesses of a Mediated Divorce
- Neither party has separate legal advice (although either party may consult with an attorney at any time if they wish)
- One or both parties might give up legal rights if they are not educated about their rights