Divorce mediation is a process that utilizes an impartial third party to help people considering divorce reach a settlement without litigation. Mediation has advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional divorce.
When can a divorcing couple elect to attempt mediation?
When mediation is an option
People seeking a divorce may attempt to reach a settlement through mediation at any time during the divorce process.
Mediation before divorce
Married people who want to reach an agreement on child custody, visitation, child support, alimony and property division before filing for divorce may utilize the mediation process before filing for an uncontested divorce.
Mediation during divorce
Sometimes divorcing spouses decide to attempt mediation during the divorce process. This may happen because of additional information learned during the discovery process. Judges sometimes order people to attempt mediation before scheduling a final divorce hearing.
When the divorcing spouses complete mediation, the mediator may assist them with creating a written document that details what the spouses agreed to during mediation. The mediated agreement becomes legally binding when both spouses sign it. However, the agreement must include a statement that it is not revocable.
If the spouses do not reach an agreement or only reach an agreement on some issues, they can settle the remaining issues through the traditional divorce process.
Mediation is an alternative to traditional divorce that gives the divorcing couple more control over the settlement process and may save time and money. Mediation is a low-risk option because you can always proceed with a traditional divorce if it does not work for you.