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The Stages of Divorce Mediation

There are many different challenges that arise during the divorce process, including those related to child custody, visitation and asset division. A preferred method of reaching an agreement that all parties can come to terms with is through divorce mediation. Divorce mediation can be broken down into a few distinct stages. Let's review the divorce mediation process below.

Outlining the Rules and Guidelines for Divorce Mediation

In any divorce mediation, the first step is for all parties to get introduced to and gain an understanding of the overall process. In this stage, the mediator will introduce themselves and go over some basic rules and guidelines, such as their role as a neutral third party. These sessions vary in length and often depend upon other issues that need to be addressed during the divorce mediation process. These introductions serve to get all parties on the same page and ensure that everyone involved is committed to this confidential process to achieve a mutually agreeable settlement.

Collecting Relevant Information and Setting Objectives

Before diving into complex, emotional issues and working towards a settlement, each party will be asked to give details that they believe may impact the process of coming to an agreement during mediation. This may include everything from asset concerns to financial issues to child custody, visitation rights and child support. In this stage, both divorcing parties are given space to express any problems that they foresee. Furthermore, the mediator will guide the parties to develop a clear outline of the objectives to reach in the divorce mediation process.

Achieving Clarity on Problems Inhibiting Resolution

As many problems inhibiting resolution of the divorce action can be complicated in nature, this stage of the mediation process serves to provide some clarity and lead toward compromise and agreement. Each of the parties to the divorce are encouraged to share their views and concerns. When it comes to issues with children, navigating child custody issues and visitation arrangements often poses a challenge in coming to agreement during the divorce action. Through divorce mediation, many parents are able to reach an agreement that ensures the best outcome for their children moving forward. A mediator will work to understand the intended outcomes for all involved parties, and how the problems that exist between them might be halting progress.

Establishing Possible Solutions

Mediators are specially trained to help guide constructive conversations so parties can overcome communication issues and progress toward proposing agreeable solutions. This stage is often meant to lay out possible options and creative solutions rather than defining an exact outcome. This gives both parties the chance to further iron out the concerns that they may have. Some mediators may choose to meet in separate sessions with each of the divorcing parties to further understand their motives and desired outcomes.

Reaching an Agreement Between Parties

Finally, a divorce mediator will help the parties work toward an agreement that satisfies them both. While it can take some time to get to this point, it means that both parties have reached a compromise on the issues that had halted reaching closure on their own. A mediator will draw up a marital settlement agreement for both parties to sign, which can then be filed with the necessary paperwork with the court and thereby avoid costly contested litigation.

At Hite Kaminsky Family Law and Mediation, PLLC, our team is here to help. If you're considering your divorce options and wish to pursue a more civil and efficient process, don't hesitate to contact us today about divorce mediation.