Divorce mediation is an attempt by a disinterested third party, called the mediator, to bring about an agreement on contested issues.
The Mediation Option
Many people, when faced with the prospect of an impending divorce, think first and foremost of going to trial. The thought of appearing before a judge is for many a terrifying ordeal which only adds stress to an already stressful situation. Mediation can be a comforting substitute for the anxiety of the courthouse. The daunting courtroom is, in mediation, replaced by a more serene environment, thus helping to put your mind at ease. Some attorneys are familiar with the various forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that are available. Your needs and personality should also be considered when deciding if mediation is for you. In other words, it is important to know which ADR fits you.
A mediator is not a judge. She does not make any decisions. Her primary goal is to assist both parties in reaching an agreement that is to their mutual satisfaction. Unlike judges, mediators often create unique agreements that deviate from the norm because the agreements are tailor made by the couple to fit their circumstances and desires. The mediator differs from the arbitrator in that the mediator can, and in fact is expected to, meet individually with each side. Hearing what each side truly wants out of the process makes the mediator’s job that much simpler, and everyone benefits.
The mediator also stands in contrast to attorneys because, unlike attorneys, who are taking an adversarial, competitive approach for their clients, the mediator’s job is to help both parties reach a suitable conclusion. Because the mediator can take no action that is binding on the disputants, there is little harm that can come about by choosing this ADR. This should give both sides confidence when approaching mediation.
Read about the benefits of divorce mediation.