Some of the common misconceptions about mediation for divorcing couples include an unfair advantage to one party, a prolonged time before settling, and even a belief that it’s only for cowards.
If you live in New York, the process of divorce mediation in Long Island and other cities will typically involve five stages. Remember that having a neutral third-party to facilitate the process may not only be lead to a peaceful resolution but also reduce the expenses of your divorce by shortening the required time.
Some people think that when they enter into mediation, it will allow their spouses to have the upper hand on the negotiations. This won’t happen if a couple hires a qualified mediator to handle their case. Mediators should have the proper training for accepting divorce cases, and lawyers are arguably more than qualified for this role.
In case your partner still exhibits a dominant attitude, an experienced mediator should call out their behavior and subsequently end the process when necessary. If you already don’t like the idea of divorce mediation from the onset, think about the possibility of a judge not ruling in your favor. There’s a higher chance that your spouse will have the better end of the settlement, so why not choose mediation where you can have complete control over negotiations?
Mediation also doesn’t prolong the process. It might be your only chance of fast-tracking your divorce, especially if you live in Michigan. Married couples with children will have to wait at least six months before a court can initiate a divorce. A judge could approve your divorce within the same time if you already reached a mutual deal after entering into mediation.
The Stages of Mediation
The five stages of mediation comprise the introductory, information-gathering, framing, negotiating, and concluding phases. It’s not necessary to move into each one of these stages. You can skip a particular step or even repeat the same one several times.
The initial stage lets the mediator understand your situation. This is also the time when the third-party familiarizes the couple with the process. The next step requires the couple to present details on all of their concerns such as dividing assets and debt, and child custody among other things. The information-gathering stage can take longer if the required documents aren’t readily available.
Otherwise, you move on to the framing stage when the mediator listens to each party’s reasons for their demands. You can either do this as a joint session or a separate one, although the latter will take a longer time and cost more money. After you negotiate the terms, the mediator will then create a document that shows all of what you have discussed during the sessions.
In the end, divorcing couples should realize that mediation will only work if both parties are willing to resolve their issues civilly. Once you and your spouse decide on going through with it, find the right mediator by speaking to at least three professionals before making a decision.