What Happens When You Go Through Divorce Mediation?
If you are planning on getting a divorce, know that it is not going to go straight to trial. You will likely need to go into divorce mediation with your spouse to try to work things out. Here is what happens when you go through divorce mediation so that you know what to expect.
Everything starts with getting a consultation with a divorce mediator. You'll either meet along with the mediator or together with your spouse. Just be aware that the mediator will likely want to meet with your spouse individually if your consultation is a 1-on-1 meeting. The consultation will cover reviewing the entire mediation process so that you have realistic expectations going into it. You'll also sign a non-disclosure agreement with the divorce mediator and talk about what the rules are for mediation.
Going through the actual mediation process is different for every single couple. These sessions will be short sessions that only take a couple of hours and can take place over multiple sessions depending on the complexity of your divorce. For example, complex financial issues, children, and owned businesses can take multiple sessions that focus on each individual issue. Meanwhile, a simple divorce can take place over a single session in some cases. You are allowed to meet with your lawyer during the mediation process for their advice.
Once you have made a decision on the terms of your divorce, that can be formalized with a legal agreement between you and your spouse. The mediator should be capable of performing this responsibility for you so that you can leave the divorce mediation proceedings with an agreement in place.
You will need to present your divorce agreement to a judge, who is going to review it and hopefully approve the agreement without issue. The most common issues that a judge may decide to alter in a divorce agreement are payments related to child or spousal support. A judge wants to make sure that the agreement is fair for anybody receiving support and may modify the agreement in this area. A judge also can make changes to custody arrangements if they feel that it is not in the best interest of the child. Even if you came to an agreement in mediation about both of these things, it can be difficult if a judge decides to make changes to the agreement.
Reach out to a mediation attorney to get started.