What is Divorce Mediation? Is it right for me and my spouse?
Why choose mediation? People who mediate want a simpler, less expensive, private alternative to ending their relationship. They want a fair resolution of their differences and are willing to work together towards compromise. Individuals who choose mediation realize that legal fees diminish the financial resources available to share and creates unnecessary animosity which affects their ability to co-parent. The Mediation process reduces stress and is the best choice for couples who want to end their relationship compassionately and responsibly.
How to select a mediator? In selecting a Family Mediator be sure he or she is experienced and certified. Choose someone you both are comfortable working with. Most Mediators offer free in person and telephone consultations Some offer video conference mediation sessions to allow you to work remotely with the mediator.
The mediator should know the county and state laws pertaining to divorce, legal separation, parenting, spousal support and child support.
The mediator can assist the parties in making good decisions and fair compromises by:
- Explaining the state and county laws that govern your divorce or family law matter
- Explaining what the definition of community and separate property is, and why this may matter in your particular situation
- Helping participants understand the difference between equal and equitable distribution of assets
- Assisting the participants in calculating support
- Assisting the participant in developing child focused parenting plans
What you need to know?
Mediation is an option that must be agreed to by both you and your spouse before you file for divorce. After you file for divorce, however, everyone must go thru Mediation in Washington state before their scheduled trial date. So, it’s not whether you will mediate the issues between you and your spouse: It is a matter of when you will mediate. Before or after you spend thousands of dollars in legal and expert fees.
Is Mediation the best choice for everyone? Mediation may not be the best choice:
- If your spouse has a significant mental health impairment, substance abuse issue, or a domestic violence perpetrator.
- If one party is unwilling to compromise or act in good faith in disclosing assets and debts.