Divorce and Family Issue Mediation
What is divorce and family mediation?
Divorce and family mediation is a voluntary process designed to help couples resolve disputes arising from relationship breakups. The issues typically mediated in domestic and family mediation involve property and debt division; child custody; child support; and parenting time. Other issues that may be mediated may involve custody of pets; grandparent, stepparent, or domestic partner visitation, and other post-relational issues.
Mediation provides an alternative to the adversary system which casts divorcing spouses as opponents. In Mediation, the spouses are viewed as cooperative adults who are restructuring their lives and the lives of their children.
Mediation is conducted under the guidance of a trained professional who helps the couple make the necessary decisions about their changing future.
Why should I use divorce and family mediation?
Divorce and family mediation is both less costly and much faster than traditional divorce litigation. Many post relationship issues, including the custody of pets, grandparent, stepparent, or domestic partner visitation are difficult or impossible to litigate.
Divorce and family mediation is effective. Mediated cases have a high rate of resolution and compliance. People tend to live by the terms of an agreement that they entered into voluntarily, especially when they created the agreement.
By selecting Mediation, individuals in a dissolving marriage are choosing to take charge of their lives, maintaining their sense of dignity and self-esteem. They are saying that they prefer to end their marriage by a cooperative and rational procedure which minimizes the anger of divorce and the negative impact of litigation.
Do I have to be married to use divorce and family mediation?
No. Domestic partners may use divorce and family mediation.
Divorce and family mediators are impartial. They do not take sides during the mediation. Mediators do not give legal advice to the parties. Divorce and family mediators do not make a decision about the dispute or tell them what to do.
Will we be screened for a history of domestic violence before mediation takes place?
Yes. Typically the mediator will interview both parties individually before the mediation takes place to screen for domestic violence.
If there is a history of domestic violence, does this mean we cannot mediate?
Not necessarily. The mediation will need to be arranged to protect the security of the parties and their ability to enter into a knowing voluntary agreement.