If you and your spouse are planning on a divorce, you should know about mediation services. This is especially important if you and your spouse are at odds over many issues. However, before you both lawyer up and prepare for combat, you and your spouse should consider the possibility of mediation services. This type of service is much different than a traditional divorce. It takes a diplomatic approach, and seeks an agreement with the least amount of hostility. The following is a quick overview of how the process works.
Mediation seeks to find common ground
With a mediator, you are still going through a divorce, but the process is aimed at a settlement that is agreeable to both parties without the intense level of animosity that is so common in a traditional divorce. As soon as a husband and wife get their own attorneys, the battle lines are drawn. Each attorney working to get as much for their clients as possible. Of course, both husband and wife can use the same attorney, but this is simply inappropriate. An attorney can only, in truth, represent the interests of one side, not both. A mediator, on the other hand, is not representing one side or the other, but is acting as an intercession between husband and wife. A mediator seeks to find common ground and works as a neutral party attempting to bring both sides together.
It is cheaper than a hostile divorce
Let’s face it, divorce attorneys get paid by the hour, and they will always find legal ways to increase their billable hours. A mediator will offer a cost estimate after an initial consultation. Most mediators will offer a free consultation. Once you receive the estimate you will have to compare that to a divorce with attorneys. You should keep in mind that once a divorce becomes contested, it is easily drawn out in the courts, and this will only make your divorce more expensive.
A mediator will need certain documents
Once the both of you agree to mediation, there will be a list of all of the documents and information needed to begin the mediation process. These documents mostly relate to financial information, but there may be other information needed such as documents relating to your health, if this is an issue in the divorce. Along with the documents, the mediator will begin making notes about what the two of you agree on and what you do not agree on. A mediator will use your areas of agreement as a foundation to build upon.
The mediation process
After all of the preparation work has been done, a mediator will sit down with both of you and begin to create an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. This is the part of the process that is much different than a combative divorce. It is true that mediators have legal backgrounds, but they are part attorney and part psychologist. They have the experience to help craft an agreement that is beneficial to you and your spouse, even when emotions flare.
Of course, the final step is drawing up the agreement and filing it with the court. Because mediators are attorneys, they have the skill and knowledge to do this properly, so there are no open issues. The Arizona Mediation Process offers a way for a couple to divorce with the least amount of hostility, while at the same time creating a divorce settlement that is equitable for both of you.