If you’re facing an impending divorce, you may want to consider working out the details of the split with your spouse via divorce mediation rather than taking your issues to court. Divorce mediation is a powerful dispute resolution tool that has become increasingly popular in recent years. To help shed some light on this alternative form of dispute resolution some frequently asked questions about divorce mediation have been answered below.
Q: What is divorce mediation?
A: When divorcing spouses agree to work out their issues via mediation, they hire a third party neutral (aka a mediator) to be in charge of the mediation process. This mediator helps the parties identify the various issues that need to be resolved and facilitates open and honest dialogue between the parties and their respective attorneys in order to come to a resolution that both spouses can live with.
Q: How long will it take to participate in divorce mediation?
A: This is a tricky question to answer because some divorces are much more complex than others, however divorce mediations typically take somewhere between 4 and 12 hours to complete and are sometimes conducted over several sessions scheduled one or two weeks apart. It should be noted that couples who choose to work out their issues by participating in divorce mediations rather than adversarial court proceedings tend to save themselves a great deal of time as divorces that are settled in court can take up to a year to conclude.
Q: How can I prepare for a divorce mediation?
A: Once you and your spouse have agreed to mediate there are several things that you can do to help prepare. If you haven’t already retained a lawyer consider hiring one to represent you. Some spouses choose to participate in divorce mediation without legal representation but if there are substantial assets at stake or if you and your spouse disagree over child custody issues then it is probably in your best interest to have an experienced divorce lawyer by your side. Additionally, now is the time to start making lists and gathering information. Begin by writing down all of your family’s assets (think homes, cars, bank accounts, retirement funds, boats, stocks, life insurance policies, etc.). Next, compile a list of your family’s recurring expenses including car loans, mortgage payments, student loans, insurance payments, etc. Finally, take time to reflect on the needs of your children and ponder the type of custody arrangement that would be most beneficial for them. All of this information is then provided to the mediator in what is called a mediation statement.
Q: Is divorce mediation the right decision for me?
A: Divorce mediation is a powerful tool that can save you considerable time and money, but this form of dispute resolution isn’t for everyone. For instance, if you are a victim of domestic violence or you suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide assets then mediation may not be right for you. With that said, an experienced divorce attorney should be able to briefly review the circumstances surrounding your divorce and advise whether or not divorce mediation would be appropriate given the facts of your case.
Need Legal Advice? Contact a Local Divorce Attorney
If you’re interested in participating in divorce mediation or would like to learn more about the process feel free to contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins at your earliest convenience. Attorney Michael Robbins is a well-regarded divorce attorney who has extensive experience representing clients throughout Michigan. To find out what Mr. Robbins can do for you call our Bloomfield Hills office today at (248) 646-7980.