What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process couples use to resolve conflict and reach an agreement that is beneficial to both sides. During divorce mediation, an unbiased mediator helps couples get clear on their circumstances, understand what is most important to them and arrive at solutions that work for each of them.
The Benefits of Mediation
While a traditional courtroom battle pits one spouse against the other and leads to a result that neither party is happy with, mediation is designed to produce an agreement that works for both parties and their children.
Resolving conflict through the mediation process can prevent spouses from investing their time, money and energy in a potentially lengthy litigation process. Moreover, mediation typically produces a conclusion faster than court procedures. As an additional bonus, mediation is comparably civil, allowing spouses to avoid potentially uncomfortable drama that can arise in litigation, which can leave one or both parties feeling as if they have been punished.
What Issues Can Be Resolved Through Mediation?
Mediation is used to resolve many different areas of conflict in connection with family law, divorce and parenting. For instance, mediation may help resolve issues involving:
- Legal separation
- Child custody and parenting plans
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Valuation and division of property
Mediation is also commonly used to reach solutions pertaining to the modification of prior agreements as well as prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. If you are involved in a family law conflict and are unsure as to whether mediation is a potential solution, reach out to our legal team for clarification.
How to Determine if Mediation is Right for You
There is a common misconception that mediation is a type of legal shortcut that expedites justice without considering the details. In fact, just the opposite is true in many cases. Without the pressure of a court docket, the mediation process can accommodate detailed resolution of many areas of conflict.
Mediation works well in situations where both spouses are able to advocate for what they believe is important and where there is not a significant imbalance of power or knowledge. If you are ready and able to express what you need and you are willing to maintain an open mind and be flexible in finding mutually agreeable solutions, mediation may be an excellent option for you.
Because the mediation process is entirely voluntary, both parties must agree to participate. If you or your spouse feel uncomfortable with the idea of advocating for yourself with regard to decisions that will shape your future, you may want to consider collaborative divorce instead.
Mediation has the potential to provide an amicable and civil end to a dispute that could otherwise prove quite combustible. This creative approach to resolving an emotionally charged conflict could also reduce the impact on your children.
The Process of Mediation
During the mediation process, the parties participate in three-way meetings with an impartial mediator. These meetings allow for the exchange of information and pinpoint issues to be resolved. Mediation uses non-adversarial techniques for conflict resolution, ultimately paving the way to reach an agreement that both sides find acceptable.
Many parties involved in mediation find it helpful to consult with an attorney prior to and during the process. We strongly recommend this for the couples we work with. An attorney can help you understand your legal obligations and rights and can enhance your confidence in the agreement that you reach. Your consulting attorney will be able to answer your specific legal questions and provide advice personalized to the unique facts of your situation. Furthermore, your attorney can review the drafted agreement that results from mediation to determine whether any changes are recommended before the document is finalized.
In addition to consulting with an attorney, parties involved in mediation might also consult with other professionals including:
- Financial planners
- Parenting specialists
- Valuation experts
Contact Vacca Family Law Group Today
Our team is ready to help you determine if mediation is right for you. If you decide to resolve your conflict through mediation, we will help you prepare and complete the process without sacrificing a fair resolution along the way. Reach out to us today to learn more about mediation and schedule an initial consultation. You can contact our attorneys by dialing 212-768-1115.