In a divorce setting, a mediator is a person who is appointed to be a neutral third party who will facilitate communication between the divorce parties. They are usually a trained professional who has experience dealing with family law matters, in particular divorce and legal separation.
Mediation is a process that allows the parties to settle major legal issues outside of court. This can be helpful for persons wishing to handle only a few matters, or who wish to settle matters before filing formal requests with the court.
What Types of Issues Does a Divorce Mediator Help With?
Divorce mediators often help monitor discussions over issues such as:
- Whether or not the couple actually wants to go through with divorce
- Financial matters such as alimony (spousal support)
- Property distribution matters and disputes
- Disputes or concerns regarding child custody and child-raising duties
- Abuse or domestic violence
- Remarriage and other related situations
Divorce mediation only works if the parties are willing and able to cooperate with each other. If they cannot work with one another, or if there are safety issues involved, a more traditional court proceeding may be needed.
Is Mediation Final?
Mediation is often not a final process. In most cases, the parties would need to have the results from a mediation session reviewed by a judge and converted into an order so that it becomes legally enforceable. That is, mediation is sometimes an informal process that is intended to help the parties begin communicating on certain issues.
For instance, a custody schedule would need to be approved by a judge and converted into an order in most cases. This will help provide legal validity to the results and conclusions reached during a mediation session. In most cases, if the parties are willing to submit to mediation, they are also willing to have the results of the meetings looked over by a judge.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Divorce Mediations?
Divorce mediations generally require much interaction between the parties involved. It’s generally in your best interests to hire a divorce lawyer if you’re going to be involved in divorce mediation. An attorney can represent you when dealing with the other party, and can also provide guidance if you need to appear before a judge.