Mediation may be a good choice when there is a possibility of reconciling.
Sometimes a spouse/partner may be unhappy with some aspect of the relationship yet there may be hope to save the marriage/relationship.
One or both of the parties may want to work through certain issues in order to stay together.
They may also want to try living apart for various reasons yet have not decided to divorce.
Sometimes it is hard to have conversations one on one and it is easier and/or more productive to have a discussion with a neutral trained professional mediator. It is possible to have attorneys present during mediation although not necessary.
A professional mediator can work with a couple and facilitate conversations, assist with identifying issues, provide resources, explore options for resolution, etc.
Even though parties in mediation are encouraged to obtain legal advice when needed from separate attorneys, mediation provides a venue that is respectful, cooperative and non-adversarial. It is client-centered and it begins with a discussion regarding the interests of the clients and what do they need to discuss.
It does not begin with an assumption that the parties are opposing one another and does not start with a discussion about how a judge would handle the issue if in court.
Mediation enables partners to have a facilitated discussion regarding their needs and interests without the pressure of an adversarial setting.
Mediation is a process that allows space for improving communications, resolving issues, and transforming the relationship into something that will work better for the parties in the future. A relationship may continue, partners may reconcile, or they may separate while working through issues in a way that hopefully enables the parties to better understand each other’s point of view. It provides an opportunity to avoid blame, move away from the past, learn from discussions, creatively problem-solve and look forward to a future positive relationship, if so desired.
Using mediation early on when there is a problem or dispute can avoid the anger, bitterness, blame and/or legal positioning that may result from attorney negotiations and court appearances that can be difficult, if not impossible to undo.
There is little, if any, harm in trying Mediation. The parties in Mediation are told that they should have separate legal counsel to review any document for settlement prior to signing it and to obtain any legal advice needed or desire along the way.
If a matter is not resolved in Mediation, the parties are encouraged to use Collaborative Divorce to resolve remaining issues. If a matter cannot be settled, they preserve any right to arbitrate or have a court decide the matter. However, it may be difficult to resolve issues respectfully and amicably if either party has already begun using an attorney to represent that party’s interest in an adversarial manner.