Put the Divorce Mediator aside and when people think about marriage dissolution, they think of two sides battling it out. There’s a lot of heightened emotions. Maybe all sorts of accusations are being hurled back and forth between the parties.
It seems that everybody just wants to win or at least gain at the expense of the other. Whatever unresolved issues they may have had in the marriage that has collapsed are put front and center in contentious divorce court proceedings.
It’s no surprise then that Hollywood and TV producers have consistently milk divorce court proceedings as a steady source of entertaining drama. Well, as the old saying goes, where there is smoke, there is fire. While there are a lot of overstated and exaggerated Hollywood productions, there’s more than a carnival of truth in them.
That’s why it’s quite refreshing to hear that there is an alternative option to a divorce court. You don’t necessarily need to get in front of a judge represented by divorce lawyers and go through all the time, hassle, and expense of a court. You can work with a divorce mediator.
Enter Collaborative Divorce
They build mediation upon the principle of collaborative divorce. To put it simply, this is an alternative to the court proceeding that is usually associated with marriage dissolution.
The goal is to identify areas of disagreements and work together to solve them in such a way that both sides can walk away content with the result.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that they would walk away perfectly happy, nor does the mediation process guarantee that both sides will completely agree on the absolute best outcome. But at the very least, they can end the process with the result that they can heartily accept.
The whole positioning of collaborative divorce is to work together or cooperate. Compare this with the adversarial system of Court. A good divorce mediator who has grasped the mediator’s standards of practice know this fact.
It’s like a gladiatorial contest. You can see that your former spouse has hired a very vicious lawyer. What do you do? You find somebody with a track record that can turn the screws on the other party, so it can quickly become an ever-escalating legal war.
There’s none of that happening with the presence of a divorce mediator. This person is not necessarily a lawyer. The primary skill of a mediator is not advocacy. This person did not train to take his/her client’s interest and champion them in court using laws, facts, reasoning, and persuasion. No!
The Role of the Divorce Mediator
Though most of them can also file for a divorce, the mediator is trained to listen and identify points of agreement. From there, he uses those points of understanding to identify factors of compromise in areas where both parties don’t agree.
They are undoubtedly different from a lawyer. A lawyer listens only to the extent that they can find information that would support their case because it’s all about winning. A mediator, on the other hand, is all about coming to a compromise or healing the conflict.
The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce
By negotiation, you can work out a resolution that suits the preferences and needs of everyone concerned. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect solution or it’s the best outcome possible. Nevertheless, through concentrated negotiation, the resolution would be something that both parties can live with.
You can also make decisions on how to handle disputes that may arise even after you settle. The idea here is to set up such an amicable and friendly negotiation so that it prevents any unnecessary tension or conflict should something happen after the agreement.
They built cooperative divorce on open lines of communication. It’s not about hiding your cards or trying to get one up on the competition. It’s not a battle at all but a collaboration. It’s founded on openness, honesty, informality, and freedom of expression.
Mediation often takes place in an informal setting. It could be in a conference room with a relaxing view of a city skyline, or it can even be at a cafe involving three people— the two parties and the mediator.
Collaborative divorce’s most substantial benefit is that it can save you a tremendous amount of time and money. On top of that, there are non-monetary savings as well. You do away with an incredible amount of drama, emotional turbulence, and guilt. You will not end up saying tactless things that can hurt somebody for a very long time. How does the Divorce Mediator Help in Achieving Mutually Agreeable Resolutions?
The divorce mediator takes the following steps to reach a positive outcome.
First, both spouses are allowed to hire a representative. It can be lawyers, trained coaches, or counselors, who understand the mediation process. These people can help both sides as they go through mediation, but they don’t necessarily have to be lawyers.
Once the opportunity for both sides to get representation passes the mediator, he then sets a pre-session meeting with your representative or with you directly. This meeting is all about getting a clear idea of what your terms are, your preferences, and the limits you would go to when it comes to compromises.
Some divorce mediators also allow parties to set up a four-way meeting between both direct parties and the representatives to settle disputes before the first intermediary session. You may be charged for this by the go-between because this is part of the process.
A licensed divorce mediator knows the ins-and-outs of the law and the procedures involved. They train in the strategies and methods of reaching an agreed-upon resolution. In other words, they don’t just know the rules, but they also know how human psychology works. They are experts in consensus building, negotiation, and compromises.
Then, both parties go to a session with the mediator. It is where the mediator lays out each side’s position and explains it. They give every party some time to deliberate about the proposals of the divorce mediator. They can send their counterproposals then.
Once the mediator gets the counterproposals, he will then restart the negotiation process until they reach an agreement. Both parties can sign a no-court agreement. It means that if mediation breaks down, they will still not bring the case to court. They will continue with it or some other alternative.
What happens after Divorce Mediation?
drafts a memorandum that outlines the agreed terms and is signed by both parties before they leave the final mediation session.
It is from this memorandum that the mediator crafts the written formal settlement agreement. This may also include a parenting schedule or plan. the agreement is transmitted to the divorcing couple to have a final review with their advisors. Together with other paperwork, the settlement agreement is filed with the court as an uncontested divorce.
From the agreement, the judge then reaches a judgment and officially dissolve the marriage and set the dissolution terms in motion. This means that the mediation has completed and the parties are divorced officially.
You will agree that this is a much cheaper option than hiring an attorney of buying divorce forms online