What to Expect in Divorce Mediation

Mediation is an informal, non-binding process in which an impartial third party intervenes in an effort to resolve a dispute of two sides. Mediation has been used for decades in the business world as a way to resolve labor strife between a company’s management team and its workers. The two sides select the mediator, typically an individual who is skilled and experienced in the practice of settling disputes through negotiation.

Divorce mediation cannot force you into something. The court may require that you attend family mediation, that doesn’t mean you have to agree to a single thing there. Of course, if you go in with that attitude, you are looking at a long, drawn out, and outrageously expensive divorce. Taking advantage of a neutral 3rd party’s expertise can help save you thousands.

Divorce Mediation Definition

A formal mediation is when a person that has no stake in either side of the case helps you agree on legal matters. It may be through a court program, or the parties may choose to use a private mediator. A private mediator is more expensive than a court mediator, but many believe that the private mediator will be more autonomous.

Both divorce attorneys are usually familiar with the mediator. Your divorce lawyer and your spouse’s lawyer must agree on who they want to use for this process. Word will get around if a mediator favors certain divorce attorneys. A savvy divorce lawyer will avoid these mediators.

Marital Settlement Agreement

The marital settlement agreement is an agreement reached through divorce mediation or by the parties themselves. Generally, the parties try to come to an agreement before or just after divorce proceedings start. If that is the case, then both divorce attorneys draft the agreement.

If you both sign the agreement before starting divorce proceedings, then the agreement gets sent with the petition. Since you don’t have to go to court, the divorce is an uncontested divorce. The divorce may start out contested then become uncontested through divorce mediation. That is when both parties sign an agreement on all issues.

Mediators Will Not Make Decisions For You

In the same situation, it is important that the mediator not tell the couple what to do with the house. It is his or her job to ensure that both parties understand the ramifications of keeping the house and what could happen in the future. This allows both spouses to make an informed and rational decision about keeping or selling the house. The fine line comes in when the mediator has to decide how his suggestions come across to the spouses. Every person requires a different approach. Each person responds to mediation differently because they handle the stress in their own way. This works the same way when one or both parties think the other should pay spousal support.

Reframing: A Problem-Focused Approach

Mediators help work out conflicts between two parties. They cannot force an agreement, but they can encourage spouses to come together to create their own agreement. This is extremely difficult when both sides believe that their viewpoint is the correct one.

To combat this problem, mediators often attempt to switch the focus from a spouse’s self-interests to the problem at hand.

Why is Reframing Necessary?

Reframing allows the parties to consider what is driving their spouse and discover the real cause of conflict and tension.

Using a mediator is both easier and cheaper than hiring a divorce lawyer to fight it out in court with your ex-spouse. Divorce attorneys can still come in handy, especially when there are large sums of money or other assets involved. It just makes good financial sense to try and work out the agreement first before you turn to the expensive route of drawn-out court hearings.

Many states, including Nevada, offer mediation as an alternative to the contested divorce process. The spouses choose a mediator, usually an experienced Las Vegas divorce mediation attorney, who initially meets with the couple to gain an understanding of the issues that must be resolved.

Why Do Couples Choose Mediation Over Litigation?

Las Vegas divorce mediation can offer a number of advantages over the litigation process, in which each party hires an attorney and proceeds to resolve the issues in a court of law. Mediation saves each party the time and expense that accompanies a protracted court battle, allowing them to move on with their lives more quickly. It also saves the hassle and stress of having to make multiple court appearances. Because the mediation process is less contentious, it can increase the likelihood that the couple will maintain a civil relationship after the divorce process is complete. Finally, mediation can ensure marital assets are divided in a manner that is acceptable to both parties.

Where Can You Turn for Help With the Las Vegas Divorce Mediation Process?

If you have questions about divorce mediation in Las Vegas or want to know if divorce mediation is right for you, contact Right Divorce Lawyers at (702) 825-6879 for an initial consultation. When you choose Right Divorce Lawyers as your Nevada divorce mediator, you and your spouse benefit from the services of experienced divorce attorneys who are highly skilled in the fine art of negotiation, which is essential for a fast and mutually acceptable resolution.

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Stacy Rocheleau, Esq.