Divorcing couples may want to consider participating in mediation when they are unable to resolve a dispute themselves. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party helps the couple resolve their concerns.
The mediator may help facilitate discussions about the couple’s assets and liabilities, spousal support and property issues. The mediator does not make a decision or impose a settlement agreement on the parties.
In addition to helping the couple address issues with the divorce, the mediator can help couples with children come to an agreement about parenting time and parenting responsibilities.
PROCESS OF MEDIATION
The mediator will explain the process to the parties and set the ground rules. Each party can choose to be represented by an attorney and will have an opportunity to present his or her position.
The mediator may also meet privately with each party, which allows them to explain their interests. The mediator will communicate proposals between the parties to facilitate an agreement, which is then put in writing and signed by the parties.
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
One of the primary benefits of mediation is that it can help the couple negotiate an agreement that meets both of their needs and encourages open communication to address the conflict.
Mediation is also confidential, may be less expensive than a traditional court process and often allows the couple to resolve their concerns quickly. In Alabama, mediation can be scheduled as soon as the couple wants to participate. They are not required to file legal paperwork before beginning mediation.
It is a useful tool for couples to consider. An experienced attorney can answer questions and provide additional information about the process.