In divorce mediation, the divorcing partners meet with an unbiased third party called a mediator to discuss and agree upon the factors of the divorce. This can include:
Once the couple has come to an agreement, the mediator drafts the agreement and both parties sign and submit to a local court for final approval.
In most cases, mediation is very successful for couples who are unable to find common ground and compromise on important issues. Many couples, even those on bad terms, are able to work through their issues in the same room, with the assistance of a mediator. In some cases, mediators choose to work as a go-between, meeting with one party at a time to alleviate stress and discomfort.
Yes, couples can choose to work out the terms of their agreement through their attorneys or through a mediator. Couples who choose to use a mediator often have their attorneys review the final agreement before signing.
Both parties benefit when they choose a mediator. Sometimes the most significant benefit is the cost savings; the mediator serves both parties, so one low hourly rate is split between two people. On the contrary, attorneys charge a higher hourly rate and each party needs their own, doubling or tripling the cost of mediation, if that route is taken.
In addition, mediation allows each couple to be heard and ensures they have the final decision-making power in their own circumstances rather than putting it in the hands of the court.
The length of the process depends on the number of issues to sort through and each party’s level of participation in the process. During voluntary mediation — mediation not mandated by court order — the parties can discontinue mediation at any time they choose, either because they have reached an agreement or because they aren’t making progress. In court-ordered mediation, the sessions continue until the parties are able to come to an agreement. Most couples facing divorce require 3–5 mediation sessions.
At Associates in Counseling and Mediation, we accept all insurance plans except Medicare. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.