When ending your marriage, you have many options. Although you may worry that you will have to endure a long and bitter courtroom battle, very few divorce cases end this way. An option that is becoming more and more popular today is mediation. If you have never heard of mediation before, or do not fully understand it, you likely have many questions. Below, our Tacoma divorce lawyer outlines the most frequently asked questions we hear, along with the answers to them.
What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation requires the two parties to meet with a third-party mediator. Mediators do not provide legal advice. Instead, mediators try to get the two sides to communicate and compromise so they can reach an agreement on all the terms of the divorce.
What are the Benefits of Divorce Mediation?
Mediation holds many benefits for divorcing couples. First and foremost, the couple is in control of the decisions being made. Unlike judges in a family law court, mediators do not make any final decisions on a divorce case. Also, mediation provides a much quicker way to get a divorce, and mediated divorces are typically much more affordable than those that go to trial.
What Issues are Resolved During Mediation?
Mediation can resolve just about any issue a divorcing couple is facing. The most common of these include:
- Division of marital property, including assets and debts
- Spousal maintenance
- Parenting arrangements
- Child support
How Long Does Divorce Mediation Take?
The length of time mediation will take depends on the specific facts of a case. Mediation sessions usually take approximately two hours. The number of sessions a couple will need depends completely on the circumstances in a case. However, most cases are successfully resolved in just a matter of a couple of weeks or months, whereas litigated divorces can take up to six months, or even longer.
Is Divorce Mediation Different from Collaborative Divorce?
Collaborative divorce and mediation are very different. Mediators are not involved in the collaborative law process. Instead, both sides meet with their attorneys and it is the lawyers that try to negotiate a fair deal. If mediation does not work, you can continue to work with the same lawyer that represented you throughout sessions. Collaborative law is more result-driven and so, if it does not work, you must hire another lawyer to represent you during the trial.
Does the Court Play Any Role During Divorce Mediation?
The role the court plays during divorce mediation is very small. Once an agreement is reached, it must be submitted to the court for approval. As long as the agreement is fair, the court will approve and officially grant you a divorce.
Do I Need a Washington Divorce Lawyer During Mediation?
Due to the fact that mediators do not provide legal advice, it is always advised that you work with a divorce lawyer in Washington when going through the process. At Alliance Law Group, our seasoned attorneys will advise you of your rights and make sure they are upheld, and you receive the fair settlement you deserve. Call us now at 253-581-0660 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.