Divorce Mediation Services: What You Need to Know About Mediation

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there were 630,505 divorces in the United States in 2020 alone. While that may sound like a lot, it was actually a lower number than usual given the challenging dynamics that the pandemic caused in the court system. Thus, it is fair to say that divorce is, unfortunately, still very common. No one likes to imagine what it might be like if they end up in a situation where they are potentially going to have to go through divorce proceedings themselves, but it is worthwhile to give this some consideration so you are prepared for what could happen. In particular, we want to look at steps that one might take to prevent the worst possible outcomes of divorce from manifesting. 

What is Divorce Mediation? 

Nolo.com defines divorce mediation in the following terms: 

In divorce mediation, you and your spouse meet with a trained, neutral mediator to discuss and resolve the issues in your divorce. Mediation sessions often take place in an informal office setting, but you might also be able to go through your mediation online.

This is a process that many bickering couples find useful, and it is something that has enabled some couples to remain together despite their differences. In some cases, speaking with a third-party provider of mediation services makes it possible for a couple to see the issues that they are going through in a different light. 

Many states require divorce mediation to be conducted before a couple can officially begin the divorce process. The reason for this requirement is simply to ensure that the married couple truly cannot find any other avenue out of the situation that they are in. It does happen that way sometimes, and the courts understand that it might be impossible to avoid at times. However, they want to ensure that all potential alternatives have been fully explored before a divorce is pursued. 

Are Divorce Mediators Neutral? 

Yes, the wonderful thing about divorce mediators is that they are neutral third-parties without a bias in the divorce proceedings that you are going through. They are simply involved to make sure both sides have an opportunity to be heard, and they also seek to help clarify any disputes or issues that a couple may have between one another. 

It requires specialized training to become a divorce mediator. Depending on the state, a mediator must complete between 20 to 40 hours of approved mediation training. There are other experience requirements placed upon them as well that vary from state to state. You can find a full list of those requirements here

The point is, any mediator that works on a case will have the necessary experience to play the role of an unbiased third-party. 

Is Mediation Superior to a Divorce Trial? 

Many couples opt for mediation over going through the process of having a formal divorce trial. There are a number of upsides to doing so that should not be overlooked. Those benefits include: 

  • Saving on Cost – The formality of a trial is very expensive both monetarily and in terms of time consumption. Couples who are trying to do everything they can to save on cost will always be best served by choosing mediation over a divorce trial. 
  • Confidentiality – A divorce trial is a matter of public record and is conducted in open court. However, mediation is confidential and anything that is said in mediation will NOT become a matter of public record. Thus, some couples choose this option to protect their privacy. 
  • Control over the Process – Mediation leaves control over the terms of divorce in the hands of the couple that is splitting. When a divorce gets to the trial stage, the power to make certain decisions is left in the hands of the court, and many couples would prefer to keep that power for themselves. 
  • Better Communication – The mediation process is fully designed to encourage communication between yourself and your spouse. The point is to try to keep those lines of communication open so everyone gets a chance to say what they need to say. When you enter a courtroom for a divorce trial, it is likely that much of the communication you enjoyed before will be left to lawyers alone. Mediation can help couples figure out how to speak with one another in a way that might help them avoid future conflicts. 
  • Settle All Issues – Mediation can often be used to settle all issues of your divorce and get it finalized without having to go to court at all. If both sides can agree on the terms of the divorce, then there is truly no need to get courts involved in it at all. 

These are just a few of the reasons why mediation is viewed as superior to a divorce trial by most people. It just makes sense to most people to try to solve things in a manner that provides them with as much power and control over the situation as possible. 

Do I Need to Bring a Lawyer to Mediation? 

Divorce mediation is different from a divorce trial, but you should still bring a lawyer with you regardless. You need legal representation at the table with you to ensure that your rights are protected. Additionally, your attorney can assist you when it comes to figuring out how to best secure the things that you most want to get out of mediation. 

If you have questions during the mediation process, it is always best to have an attorney on standby who can help answer those questions for you and provide you with the details that protect your interests in the situation. Thus, it is recommended that you bring a lawyer even if you have no intention of taking your divorce into the trial stage. 

To obtain the legal assistance that you require today, we strongly encourage you to contact us at Sandiegodivorcemediation.net get set up with someone from our team. If you are in the San Diego area, we can provide you with a free consultation to provide you with answers about how we can help in your case and to help increase your comfort level with an attorney that can handle your case for you. If that sounds ideal to you, then we look forward to hearing from you and working with you through the divorce mediation process.

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