Mediation is a method that divorcing couples have to go through to settle things that are involved with their marriage without going to court trials or hearings. A typical setup involves the couple and a neutral facilitator called a mediator. However, in some cases, the couple will go through mediation with their respective legal counsels and the mediator.
The mediator’s role is only to facilitate so the divorcing couple will be able to figure the best kind of settlement according to your situation.
But what to expect in divorce mediation?
If you’re interested to know more about this then we advise you to continue reading as we’ll tackle the basics of mediation in today’s post.
Prior to the actual mediation process, the divorcing couple is expected to fill out forms as required by the mediator so they’ll be able to gather all the necessary information about the couple’s issues and other things they want to be settled. These things may include the following:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Issues with parenting time
- Division of assets
- Distribution of debts
Once the forms are filled up, the couple will submit these documents to the mediator, who will then go over with the ground rules of the process. Then, the mediator will ask the divorcing couple to sign an agreement, which then leads us to the next step of the process.
Signing A Mediation Agreement
This contract governs the mediator’s relationship with the couple, which specifically states that it’s privileged and confidential, along with the fees. So this means any discussion done within the mediation process is not discoverable and cannot be used for divorce litigation in court. And the mediator can’t be forced to testify with or against any couple with a divorce case, which also applies to all divorce mediators in LA.
Deliberation Of Issues
After the couple has signed the mediation agreement, the mediator is expected to understand each of the issues that couples and listen to each side of the story without siding to the divorcing wife or husband. Both parties will be given a fair chance to voice out their opinions (even air out their grievances), but the exchange should remain polite and respectful to maintain a healthy atmosphere of conversation. In short, the couple should always keep their emotions in check during the process because they may have a hard time settling things if they can’t control their emotions. Likewise, couples who have serious mistrust issues and those with an imbalance in bargaining influence will also have a hard time mediating divorce issues.
Establishing A ‘Common Ground’
Once the issues have been identified, the mediator is expected to ask the couple to state their respective positions on every issue in order to determine a common ground. If the couple has a hard time coming up with a compromise, the mediator can make practical suggestions that can serve as solutions to their impasses.
In addition, the mediator can also conduct a separate caucus if one party sees that communicating with the other party may be unproductive. In this manner, the mediation process will proceed until the couple is able to reach a compromise agreement.