Aug 31, 2021
What to Expect from Divorce Mediation
I have been handling divorce mediations for a few years. I have learned so much that I sometimes think my clientele are helping me more than I am helping them. Although I am helping them quite a bit. There are many articles out there on divorce, but I have not really come across any articles on mediation.
Christina Lombardo-Zaun, Esq., an Attorney Mediator at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, talks about what to expect from divorce mediation and explains how it is different from litigation.
Mediation is different from litigation. It can and most always saves clients time, money, and energy. However, not every couple is suited for mediation. A couple that chooses mediation also has to choose to make their decisions based on need, not greed, they need to be flexible and reasonable, and they both have to be committed to resolving their legal claims fairly.
Over the years of my practice, I have noticed that some couples might not fully understand what mediation is and so this short blog will outline what I think are good expectations to have when starting work with a divorce mediator (such as myself).
1. The mediator is a lawyer but is not YOUR lawyer. Yes, I am a licensed attorney but when I am mediating a divorce, I am a third-party neutral. I do not represent husband and I do not represent wife. Couples must understand that a mediator cannot and will not take sides. They are there to facilitate the journey to a settlement agreement.
2. The mediator does not tell you how to split up your assets and liabilities. As noted in No. 1, the mediator facilitates the discussion to get parties to a settlement, but the mediator should not direct the parties in one direction or another. The mediator is also not a magician and cannot create a settlement agreement alone.
3. Mediation does not equal easy. I think some couples come to the table thinking it is going to be an easy process since they are not litigating. This is not always the case. The couple is still divorcing and there can be raw emotions and other challenges that come into play.
4. Mediation does not always equal quickie divorce. In my practice I prefer not to rush through a case. I want clients to take their time and make thoughtful decisions when coming to the terms of their settlement agreement. My goal is to have everything done in six months, but note each case is unique, and I take many things into consideration when mediating a divorce.
I hope this information is helpful if you are considering mediation. I have observed that the couples who come into mediation with reasonable expectations and knowledge about the mediation process fare much better than those who do not. Call Alpha for a free consult so we can determine if you and your spouse are mediation friendly.