Mediation: Is it Right for You?
May 3, 2017
You’re considering mediation, but not sure whether it’s right for you. If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, then mediation should be an option. 1) Can you sit at a table with your spouse and rationally discuss the issues in your divorce? 2) Are you committed to trying to resolve custody & financial issues in a mutually agreeable manner? 3) Are you willing to provide full disclosure of your assets? 4) Do you understand that the mediator is a neutral facilitator and will not represent either party? 5) Do you want to shorten the divorce process and avoid litigation?
Mediation is not marriage counseling. It is a process to assist parties in settling the issues of custody and parenting time, distribution of property, support and related issues. Most divorce mediations require 3 to 5 sessions, possibly more if there is strong disagreement over some or all of the issues or if there are complex issues, such as those involving a business. The mediator may recommend retaining an appraiser to determine the value of your home or a business evaluation expert to determine the value of a business. However, most mediations will require only the two parties and the mediator.
The mediator will provide suggestions and alternatives, but will not decide any issues. The mediator will likely recommend that each party has a consultation with their own attorney at some point in the process. Although the mediator can provide general information about the law, he or she cannot provide individual legal advice. At the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that includes all of the agreements that have been reached. The MOU should be reviewed by each party’s attorney, one of whom will proceed to file the Complaint for Divorce once all the issues have been settled.
For more information about mediation, contact Risa A. Kleiner, Esq., at 609.951.2222 or by email at email@example.com.