Divorce Mediation FAQs

Divorce mediation is the process by which a specially trained neutral third party (the mediator) meets with a divorcing couple to help them resolve their disputes without having to go through a court trial.  The mediator can help the couple decide issues such as distribution of property, taxes, child support, and child custody or parenting time.  Here is a brief look at the most frequently asked questions about divorce mediation:

What are the benefits of mediation?

Mediation provides a number of benefits over a trial, such as:

  • Confidentiality ― unlike litigation, mediation is off the record
  • The mediator is an impartial third party
  • Fewer costs
  • Preservation of relationships among the parties
  • Speedier resolution

Couples who go through mediation often reach an agreement both parties find suitable.

Does mediation create an unequal power balance between the spouses?

Any good mediator will pay careful attention to the power balance between the spouses and use specific techniques to remedy any imbalance.

Does mediation make the divorce take longer?

Mediation usually takes less time than litigating a divorce. Mediation offers a streamlined approach to decision-making and to information gathering.

Are women at a disadvantage in mediation?

Far from it ― women can often obtain better results from mediation than in traditional divorce court, because mediation enables the negotiation of an agreement that considers non-legal factors. At the very least, women are no more at a disadvantage in mediation than in divorce court.

Is mediation the best option for every divorcing couple?

Mediation can work for most divorcing couples, if both spouses are capable of speaking up and can behave appropriately in mediation. However, in cases of domestic violence or substance abuse, spouses might find it easier for lawyers to speak for them instead of trying to negotiate directly with their spouse through a mediator.

Can I use my lawyer in mediation?

Yes. You should use your lawyer to provide advice and to answer complex legal questions that come up in the mediation.  Further, your lawyer will be instrumental in drafting or reviewing the divorce settlement agreement that you may reach during mediation.

If you are considering getting a divorce, contact a knowledgeable Columbia mediation attorney to walk you through the steps of mediation and the divorce process.