Understanding How Divorce Mediation Works

Today, a lot of couples prefer divorce mediation for a more peaceful separation. A couple meets with a neutral third part to negotiate and resolve their issues. This party can be a Massachusetts mediation lawyer who will help the couple reach a mutual agreement on their divorce. Keep reading to know more about how this process works and ways to make it more cost-effective and smoother:

Picking a Person to Lead

Your or your spouse can take a lead in scheduling your mediation. Although your respective attorneys can handle the scheduling, it is often easier if one of you takes the lead in terms of contacting a lawyer and the other party to schedule the mediation. 

The Number of Sessions Necessary

Although each case and family are different, the majority of mediations last between 4 and 16 hours and 6-10 hours on average, spread over 1-4 sessions. In general, your attorney will schedule the first sessions to last for a couple of hours. Although the mediation can take longer than this, your attorney can determine whether or not you must continue the process around the next hours after you spend two hours on it.

What Happens During the First Session?

You and your spouse can expect the first 1-2 hours of the mediation to deal with the introduction of the process itself, confirmation of the commitment to mediate, and signing of the mediation contract. Also, during the first session, you and your spouse must provide the mediator with background information to set the stage for the process to start. 

Importance of Getting Legal Advice

Unless your mediator is a lawyer, they can give you and your spouse legal advice. But, sometimes, the mediator may be able to give general legal information to facilitate ongoing discussions. Before you start engaging in mediation, it is important to seek legal advice to know your rights and obligations in terms of disputes and the merits of proceeding with your mediation. 

Mediation Costs

When you and your spouse decide to go through mediation, you should agree to share the cost. You can agree to shoulder 50% of the mediation fees. Also, you can agree on who you will finance and pay for the process. You can decide to reimburse yourselves the mediation costs out of a joint asset. Or one of you will front the total cost and take the other party’s share out of the final settlement.