Monday, August 3, 2015

What is Divorce Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which a third party neutral works with two or more people to help them reach resolution on issues or conflicts that may exist between them. In divorce mediation, the mediator works with the divorcing couple to help the couple reach a resolution on the various issues in their divorce. The term "mediation" encompasses various styles of mediation ranging from transformative to directive. The varying styles often have to do with how much the mediator will interject or offer his or her own opinions to the parties. Typically, in a divorce mediation, the mediator will not offer his or her opinions and will not give advice to the participants. However, there are divorce mediators who not only offer their opinions but also actively negotiate between the parties to attempt to work out a resolution. This is sometimes called "conciliation" or "case evaluation." It is important for a couple engaging in the mediation to know which style the practitioner uses.

In the more traditional divorce mediation, the role of the mediator is to facilitate a dialogue between the parties and to insure that they have sufficient information, legal, financial etc., to make an informed decision and agreement. The mediator can provide the parties with legal information. This is distinguished from legal advice. Giving legal advice endangers the mediator's neutrality. In a typical divorce mediation, I provide a lot of legal information but cannot give my mediation clients legal advice