Learning the Basics of the Process
If you’re considering mediation as a means of resolving the issues in your divorce, you may be unsure of what mediation even looks like. You might wonder how many sessions you may need or what even occurs in these sessions. To help you have an accurate understanding of mediation, here is what you can expect to occur throughout the process.
A Simple Explanation of Mediation
To understand what you can expect from mediation, it helps to first know what is involved in the process. Mediation involves working with a neutral third party (your mediator) to collaborate with your spouse and resolve divorce issues. When you attend mediation sessions, your mediator will facilitate conversations between you and your spouse, help you stay focused on your goals, and ultimately guide you to coming to terms on a settlement agreement that meets your needs.
You should also know that your mediator will not side with you nor will they favor your spouse. Their job is to remain impartial, hear what you both are saying, facilitate discussions, and help the two of you come to agreements that are fair to both of you.
The Time Involved in Mediation
You may be asking yourself, “Mediation sounds like a good option. How many sessions will we need to attend?” This question is rather difficult to answer, as every couple that attends mediation is facing issues that are unique to their own circumstances. While many couples face common issues such as property division and child custody, the circumstances surrounding those issues are likely completely different from one another. It’s certainly not out of the question for a couple to be able to resolve all of their issues in one session, but some couples take more than that.
Similarly, providing an estimate of how long each session is difficult simply because your divorce is unique from everyone else’s. However, your ability to communicate with your spouse as well as your willingness to do this can influence the length of the sessions.
The Mindset of Mediation
In mediation, there is no room for winners and losers, and yet using mediation for your divorce, in a way, leads both you and your spouse to a victory. The goal of mediation is to bring spouses to a point of agreement that is fair for both of them. Because the mediator is neutral, they will work to facilitate the conversation in a way that allows both you and your spouse to come to agreements on divorce issues
There are two moments of victory for both parties in mediation: when you agree on an issue and when all issues are resolved. When you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement that is fair for both sides, the reality is that both of you have truly won.
In addition, you as a participant in mediation should have an open mindset geared toward collaboration and problem-solving rather than confrontation and aggression. While the relationship between you and your spouse may be fading into the realm of dislike and distrust, know that your mediator is there to facilitate your conversations and allow you to share your goals and your thoughts as you work together to create the resolutions to your divorce.
Who you choose to be your mediator is important. You will want someone working with you and your spouse to be experienced in the principles of effective mediation and who has helped couples find successful outcomes through mediation. At FairWell Family Law Mediation, our mediators have helped many couples say “FairWell” to painful litigation, tense disagreements, and lengthy courtroom battles through the mediation process. Our team has guided people in their conversations and has pushed them toward collaboration in their decision-making. The results have been peaceful solutions to the issues of divorce as well as savings of time and money.