As legal costs are skyrocketing, many spouses who wish to end their marriages are turning to mediators in lieu of courtroom processes. While almost every divorce will require a divorce lawyer at least briefly, mediation is a viable option for couples who wish for a peaceful and amicable settlement. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Why use mediation for a divorce?
Divorce mediation can help retain friendly ties to your previous partner. If you have children, mediation can help them retain the feeling of having a family even after you’re divorced. The process of mediation is also generally less stressful and less costly than a traditional divorce.
Is divorce mediation right for everyone?
No. Divorce mediation is most suited for couples where both parties agree on the divorce and are willing to work with each other to ensure a positive outcome. An angry partner out for revenge, a dangerous partner, or a deceitful partner can prevent mediation from being effective. Each situation should be evaluated independently to determine whether mediation is the best option.
Who is the mediator?
Many people believe that the mediator is a lawyer. This could be the case, but more often than not, the mediator is a marriage counselor, psychologist, or social worker. Mediation can therefore also serve as therapy for all parties involved, hopefully leading to a more favorable outcome than it would be if the matter was settled in court.
Is the mediator’s recommended agreement legally enforceable?
The mediator’s recommendation is not a legally enforceable — it’s simply a recommendation. However, if you and your former spouse decide to follow the recommendation and you sign the mediation agreement, it then become legally enforceable. The agreement, once signed by both parties, is a contract, and it is enforceable as such.
Does mediation completely eliminate my need for a lawyer?
It is your choice whether to retain an attorney. However, remember that your mediator may not be a lawyer. Even if the mediator were a lawyer, they would not legally be allowed to give either party advice. Having a divorce lawyer Bloomington IL prefers to guide you through the process and help you arrive at fair demands may greatly help your case.
What happens when everything can’t get resolved by a mediator?
It is virtually unheard of for all issues to be solved in single session with a mediator. Of course, the hope is that everything major can be ironed out through several mediation sessions. If two spouses cannot come to an agreement, they will likely spend some time reconsidering and trying to come to a compromise. If they cannot arrive at a compromise, the next option is to litigate over whatever it is that cannot be specifically agreed upon.
Do I still have to go to court if I use a mediator?
While there is no guarantee you won’t end up in court if you and your spouse cannot resolve everything through mediation, the mediation process itself will not require you to go to court.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Pioletti & Pioletti for their insight into divorce.