Important: Mediation services are not legal services and the protection of a client-lawyer relationship does not exist with respect to providing mediation services.
Disclaimer – No Mediation Advice Contained in this Website. Information in this website is general in nature only. It is not mediation advice and should not be relied on as such or to solve individual circumstances.
What is mediation? Mediation is a way for people to resolve their differences, by creating their own solutions, with the help of a mediator, a neutral. Mediation is not a legal service. (For legal services see Amicable Legal Services. Also note hypothetical #2 “Beth and Tom Mediated Their Case.”)
Is divorce mediation for you?
If “yes” is your answer to these questions, divorce mediation may be for you.
1. Do you and your spouse prefer to make decisions about your circumstances rather than have someone else in the court system decide for you, and do you both want to settle your case without going to court?
2. Would it be possible, even if it seems like it will difficult, for the two of you to discuss things like finances and children with the help of a mediator?
3. Are you both willing to participate in divorce mediation?
4. Can you both try to consider various ideas about how to settle things, even if it is your spouse’s idea?
What happens in a divorce mediation session?
It can vary since mediators and participants have different styles and approaches. In my mediation practice, the participants and I discuss subjects relevant to their divorce such as division of assets and debts, child custody, child support, alimony and spousal support. (Since I am assisting as a mediator, and not as a lawyer, I do not give legal advice or services.) We go over their unique circumstances and I do my very best to help them come up with solutions that work for them.
Two sisters and one orange – a dilemma. A story credited to a mediation training.
The Orange and the Two Sisters.
“Two sisters were having a disagreement over which one of them should get the one orange. “In mediation, a good mediator would find out what was the “interest” each sister had in the orange; what if one sister wanted the peel to bake a cake and didn’t want the fruit, and the other wanted only to eat the fruit, and discard the peel? This story explains the importance of getting past the parties positions and uncovering their interests within a dispute and the power of mediation as a form of dispute resolution.” Mediation Dictionary
I suggest you read the entire entry.
Part of one of my mediation sessions (similar to the sisters and the orange).
Disclaimer – No prediction of outcome. The following example does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction of the outcome of your circumstance.
True Story (some details changed to protect confidentiality).
At first it seemed unlikely Amanda and Kevin would reach an agreement about custody of their minor children. Through discussions and thinking “outside the box” both Amanda and Kevin’s main wishes were met and agreed upon.
Kevin and Amanda each wanted the children to live with them and spend every other weekend with the other. We then explored each of their reasons for wanting this arrangement. Amanda said she felt it would be best for the children emotionally to see her almost every day and that she would miss them too much otherwise. Kevin said that he provided a very stable routine for the children which made them flourish in school and their numerous activities which he believed was very important.
The question becomes – is there a custody arrangement where Amanda sees the children most days while Kevin provides the stable routine? After further discussions about all of their schedules and other things that were important for this family, Kevin and Amanda developed such an arrangement. They agreed that the children would live with Kevin and spend every other weekend with Amanda; and, Amanda would drive them to their daily after school and social activities.
Mediation is a setting for self-determination and creative solutions.