Divorce Mediation is a form of resolving all issues with a neutral third party who helps facilitate a conversation with the ultimate goal of reaching an Agreement both parties find acceptable and good for their family.
The parties choose to jointly retain a mediator, a qualified professional (specially trained lawyer, financial or mental health professional) to facilitate their discussions. The mediator is a neutral who does not—and cannot—provide legal advice. The mediator is not advocating for either side; rather, the mediator helps the parties jointly resolve their issues through various techniques.
Mediation is a confidential and private process. A successful mediation will result in the parties coming to a meeting of the minds and a written document being drafted memorializing the agreement. It is important to understand that you can consult with an independent attorney before starting mediation, you can consult or even bring your attorney with you during the mediation, but most importantly, you should consult a mediation friendly attorney to review the Agreement before you sign it. There is no duplication of effort. All of the hard work is done with the mediator, but it is an added protection.
Once you have a signed Agreement, the Divorce process is simple, and your Agreement is actually attached to your Judgment of Divorce.
It has been shown that people are more likely to abide by an Agreement they have come up with themselves than a judgment that has been foisted upon them.
Mediation is a wonderful, cost-effective alternative for many couples.