If you and your spouse do not fundamentally disagree on matters of child custody or major property division issues, you may be able to avoid litigating your divorce. Instead of a lengthy, expensive process in which the court ultimately gets to decide the outcome of your child custody arrangements and property division settlement, you and your spouse can be the masters of your own fate through the process of divorce mediation.
Prior to beginning the mediation process, both you and your spouse will need to independently retain the services of experienced family law attorneys. Simply because you and your spouse are not litigating your divorce does not mean that you no longer require legal advocates focused specifically on your needs and priorities.
In addition to your attorneys, you will need to retain the services of a mediator, who will act as a neutral third party aimed at helping to ensure that you and your spouse reach a peaceable settlement. Your attorney will help to ensure that the settlement’s terms are fair to you and are legally enforceable.
While in mediation, you, your spouse and both of your attorneys will work to construct your divorce settlement. If you and your spouse are both content with the settlement you have constructed, you may file it with the court in order to seek a judge’s approval. If you fail to reach a settlement or do not agree with your proposed settlement’s terms, you and your attorney may opt to pursue litigation as necessary.
Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “What Is Divorce Mediation? How Does It Work?” Brett Snider, July 30, 2014