Divorce Mediation Services with Dignity and Compassion
Divorce mediation is a process in which two individuals meet with a mediator to address 20+ issues that need to be agreed upon in a fair and equitable manner. These issues have been determined by family court as a requirement to obtaining a divorce. Issues that must be addressed are comprehensive and include everything from child custody, visitation, child support, the marital home, automobiles, insurances, retirement assets, alimony and more. Divorcing individuals can include additional factors in their agreement that may not be required by family court.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Is divorce mediation legally binding?
A: No, divorce mediation is a non-binding agreement between two divorcing parties. Each individual will receive an original copy of a Memorandum of Understanding, which is a detailed written agreement that clearly states the decisions made during mediation sessions. This agreement addresses the distribution of the marital assets and clearly defines the needs of their children (if they have children).
Q: If the Memorandum of Understanding is not legally binding, why should people choose mediation?
A: Mediation allows individuals to develop a divorce agreement with dignity while eliminating hostility and minimizing conflict. Mediation is also much less costly and eliminates drawn out court battles. After a Memorandum of Understanding is agreed upon, the divorcing individuals will bring their agreement to their attorney(s) for processing within the family court. The attorney(s) will file a motion for a nominal divorce and a court date will be scheduled. Once the two individuals appear in family court, the Memorandum of Understanding will be written into a court order. The divorce becomes final 90 days after the court date.
Q: If people have to hire an attorney and a mediator, will they be paying more money for a divorce through mediation than a traditional divorce?
A: No, the cost of mediation and attorney fees for processing usually are a fraction of the cost of a traditional divorce either nominal or contested.
Q: Can the agreement be changed if either party feels that something has been overlooked or something changes?
A: Absolutely. Divorcing or divorced individuals can always return to mediation at any time to make changes to their agreement.
Q: What is the difference between a mediator that is an attorney and a mediator that is a psychotherapist?
A: Both professionals should have completed a comprehensive divorce mediation certification program thus are equally trained and qualified to provide mediation services. Psychotherapists are extremely skilled in compromising and conflict resolution. These skills are complimentary to the solid knowledge base that has been obtained in the certification process. I t is absolutely unnecessary for a divorce mediator to be an attorney.
Q: If the mediator is an attorney, can he or she represent either party in processing the divorce?
A: No, even if the mediator is an attorney, it would be a conflict of interest for that individual to represent either or both parties.