Part 7 of our 10 part series
Divorce mediation is a process led by a neutral mediator; its very foundation rests upon maintaining that neutral protocol. While all of the mediators at Divorce Mediation Group are family law attorneys – several are certified family law specialists – in their role as a neutral mediator they cannot give legal advice. As a neutral professional, the mediator’s role is to facilitate the parties’ discussions toward settlement by sharing how the law would apply to a particular issue, how other parties have reached similar agreements and, most importantly, general knowledge of how a court might address the specific issues in their case.
Here’s what that means to you:
Sharing the Law: It is important to gain a basic understanding of how the law applies to the issues in your divorce. What is the law concerning child support? What is required for a parenting plan? How long does spousal support last? Do I have to provide financial information to my spouse? Are our pensions separate or community property? Do we have to sell our house? What happens if one party doesn’t comply with our agreement? Your mediator will give you an overview of family law and answer all of your questions about your matter.
How Other Parties Have Reached Their Agreements: The issues in every divorce fall into standard categories: support, custody and division of assets/debt; however, the agreements reached in every divorce are unique. Divorce Mediation Group mediators draw upon their wealth of experience to illustrate to their clients the agreements other couples have reached and brainstorm with them to tailor those agreements to fit into their divorce.
How the Court Might Rule: Occasionally during mediation a particular issue may prove to be especially challenging for the parties, prompting one or both parties to consider throwing in the towel and going to court. Before rushing off to court, the most important question a party to mediation can ask the mediator is “What do you think would happen if we went to court?” The mediator will be able provide a general idea of how the court would rule on the thorny issue at hand. This affords both parties the opportunity to evaluate their positions armed with a realistic picture of their day in court.
The goal of Divorce Mediation Group is to provide all of the information necessary to allow the parties to make informed decisions in reaching their agreements.