About Divorce Mediation

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Divorce mediation means different things to different people. In mediation you and your spouse will sit down in the same room with each other and with a neutral mediator and with the mediator's help you will work through the issues so the two of you can get through your divorce.

 

Divorce mediation allows both parties to identify, negotiate, and resolve the issues raised by the decision to divorce. This neutral person establishes firm ground rules and a confidential environment so that emotionally charged issues can be talked about safely. The mediator helps both spouses gather necessary information and review it systematically. At times the mediator helps formulate a more creative solution than the court could offer. When parenting agreements and financial distribution plans are made by the spouses themselves there is a better chance of meeting the needs of the entire family.

 

Mediated divorces have a higher rate of long-range parental cooperation and a lower frequency of costly returns to court

Mediation gives you and your spouse a way to settle the conflict which is natural and inevitable. Settling the conflict helps cooperation after the divorce. The mediator remains neutral between the husband and the wife which means the mediator can't give advice to either party and cannot act as a lawyer for either party.

What the mediator can do is to point out in open session to both spouses things that each of them should be aware of. The open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence. When both spouses are working with the same base of information it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to both spouses.

Mediation is voluntary and it continues only for so long as all three individuals want it to. Your mediator has to have a good reason to withdraw but, you or your spouse can withdraw from mediation at any time without any reason.

Does mediation really work? Yes, statistics indicate that when you compare couples who have mediated their divorce with couples who go through an adversarial divorce, mediating couples are more likely to be satisfied with the process and the results; likely to take less time and spend less money; and are less likely to go back to court later to fight about something.

 Dennis P. Levin is an Ohio Supreme Court certified family law mediator. Mediation is designed to help you and your spouse work out a negotiated divorce settlement. Our mediation techniques offer a low cost, fast, and efficient divorce service. Our fees are based on an hourly rate that is the cost for both husband and wife, as the mediator works for both of you.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

  • The parties control their own decisions.
  • The parties are more likely to comply with their final agreements.
  • Post-divorce conflict, with potential litigation and additional costs, is less likely to occur.
  • Mediation is faster than litigation.
  • Mediation is generally less expensive than litigation.
  • The parties can discuss emotional issues and have those issues considered in making their decisions.
  • The parties can use their improved communication skills and enhanced understanding of each other's concerns to reduce stress in post-divorce dealings.
  • Children benefit from reduced tension and hostility between parents both during and after divorce.
  • Keeps you and your spouse in control of your own divorce.

Divorce mediation resolves the issues of custody, visitation, equitable distribution, child support and separation all without the high cost of litigation. At the conclusion of mediation, the parties are in every way as divorced as the couple who has emotionally battled it out with litigation.

How does divorce mediation work?

1. Learn what it's all about

At the first session, the parties talk about their reasons for seeking mediation, and the divorce mediator provides the parties with a detailed outline of how the mediation process works. At this session, the mediator will also set forth the guidelines for the mediation process. The parties and the mediator will identify the information that needs to be exchanged and discuss and agree upon any necessary ground rules.

2. Identify issues and develop understanding

The parties and the mediator will specify each of the issues to be resolved. On an issue by issue basis the mediator will attempt to understand as fully as possible each party's point of view as well as his and her needs, interests, and priorities. The mediator also assists the parties in understanding each other.

3. Explore interests and consider options

With further discussion the parties explore their interests and in view of their own priorities develop various options that best serve their present and future needs.

4. Resolution and consensus

During the last step the parties consider possible options and choose those that work for them and that do not cause the other party to give up something that is important to him or her. These options are then incorporated into an agreement that is drawn up by the attorney mediator. The parties have their independent attorneys review the agreement. If the agreement is satisfactory to both parties they sign the agreement and move on to the next phase of their lives.

Who handles the court process?

Although the mediator does not act as an attorney for either spouse in the court process, the mediator can prepare court documents for the spouses' signatures.

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