Divorce mediation is an increasingly popular process for couples who are seeking a divorce. A divorce mediator acts as a neutral third party to help with the communication and negotiation of a mutually acceptable divorce agreement. The divorce mediator is there to assist and provide guidance, but does not use their judgement to influence decision making.
Why use a divorce mediator?
Using a divorce mediator does take less time, and is less expensive, than using lawyers to move a divorce through the court system. If you know that you are going to need to have an ongoing relationship with your ex, divorce mediation can help to keep the divorce process less combative, and that can assist with having more positive interactions in the future.
How does divorce mediation work?
Some divorce mediators prefer to meet individually and then act as a go-between between both spouses, and others require collaborative meetings where both spouses are present. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style, and which one is better really depends on the issues facing the divorcing couple.
When pursuing divorce mediation, you will also want to consult with a lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are being preserved and respected. An experienced divorce attorney working alongside a divorce mediator will be able to help you with the following:
- Evaluate your present situation to determine if mediation is a viable course of action.
- Offer negotiating techniques and help you to derive at solutions to problems.
- Review the written agreement prepared by the divorce mediator to ensure your legal rights are protected and that you fully understand the terms before signing.
- Prepare the legal papers for your uncontested divorce once your settlement agreement is finalized and signed.
If both you and your spouse begin divorce mediation with solid legal understanding, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate and work through a settlement that you can both live with and agree upon.
Choosing a Divorce Mediator
If you and your spouse have determined that divorce mediation is the best path for dissolving your marriage, you’ll want to take some time and find choose a divorce mediator who is qualified and understanding of your particular family situation. Here are some qualities and skills you may want to consider:
- Have a reputation for respectful treatment of clients, competence and honesty.
- Be experienced in and supportive of mediation and know how to promote a reasonable settlement to both individuals.
- Have the ability to empower both of you to make informed decisions.
- Offer a clear and practical approach to determining a fair legal settlement.
- Help you to engage in meaningful negotiation discussions and assist in crafting solutions for your family’s life after the divorce occurs.
- Keeps you and your spouse on a civil, common ground that allows each of you to consider the bigger picture of your family and divorce and what issues and concerns are most important.
- Has the skills to be a project manager and problem-solver. The divorce mediator’s primary job is to keep you and your spouse on-track for resolving your concerns and disagreements.
While a divorce mediator is not a family therapist or counselor, it may be helpful for couples going through the divorce mediation process to seek outside mental health support. Ending a marriage or domestic partnership, even under the most amicable terms, can be a significant emotional stressor. Having outside psychological help to focus on your emotional well-being can be beneficial to the mediation process and help alleviate emotional “triggers” that could possibly sabotage the negotiation process.
In closing, choosing the best divorce mediator means finding a person who is very much invested in you and the future of your family. After meeting with the mediator, do you feel they exhibit a sense of caring and concern for you and your family’s financial and emotional well-being? Listen to your gut! It’s essential that both you and your spouse establish a connection of trust with the divorce mediator following your initial consultation. Both of you need to have confidence in the mediator’s ability to help you work through your divorce agreement and arrive at mutually agreeable terms that are reasonable and within legally acceptable norms.
Laura Monty Law is a Fort Collins Divorce Mediator
If you and your spouse will be filing for divorce in Northern Colorado, and reside in the Larimer County or Fort Collins region, and have questions about the divorce mediation process, do not hesitate to contact our office. We provide divorce mediation services, legal advising for uncontested divorces, and a full array of divorce and family law services to meet your family’s needs. Contact Laura Monty Law today to see how we can help.