Divorce Mediation: An Alternative to High-Cost Litigation

QuestionMy husband and I are discussing divorce, but we are both afraid that once we get involved in the legal system, it will be very costly and we will lose control of the process. Do you think that mediation would work for us?

AnswerWe asked Genell Greenberg, MSW, who is an experienced divorce mediator and family law attorney in North County, to provide the following information about mediation:

Divorce mediation is an alternative to the contested, adversarial divorce traditionally litigated in court. It is a confidential, voluntary process in which one or two trained professionals, acting as facilitators, help a couple to negotiate the terms of their divorce.

The mediator assists the parties in gathering and exchanging information, analyzing the issues, suggesting the possible range of results if the matter was litigated, and exploring and fashioning a resolution which is mutually satisfactory.

Once the parties reach an agreement, the mediator prepares a written document setting forth the proposed agreement.

The parties to a mediation must make a commitment to fully disclose all pertinent financial information, and they must trust each other enough to communicate and negotiate in good faith. The parties are encouraged to consult with independent legal counsel at any time throughout the course of the negotiations and at the end to review the final proposed agreement.

Generally, no court appearances are required, and the mediated agreement becomes part of the final judgment of dissolution.

The cost of mediation varies from case to case. Some mediators will request an initial retainer and some will expect payment at the time of each mediation session. You and your spouse should confirm the fee arrangements with the mediator at the initial session.

6 thoughts on “Divorce Mediation: An Alternative to High-Cost Litigation”

  1. Claudia A Ulwelling

    Do I understand from the article regarding mediation, that both parties, “disclose all pertinent financial information” in good faith? This makes me a little nervous.. I trust my soon to be “ex” to disclose, but there’s always a chance he may not disclose. He was always in charge of all the finances so I have no idea what’s out there.

  2. I have a court date comming up soon my husband has completely abandoned me and our home mortgage what are my chances of making him help pay from a judge the house is in both our names and I can’t afford it on my own

  3. Pingback: Why Your Friend’s Divorce Took Two Years - Second Saturday Divorce Workshops

  4. I agree mediation is an alternative to high-cost litigation. However, should a stalemate occur during mediation, you may want to consider Deadlock Arbitration before resorting to high-cost litigation. “Deadlock Arbitration is a private confidential process that avoids the need to ‘change over’ to public court litigation when divorce mediation … reaches a total breakdown.” This is excerpted from: “Why Confidential Deadlock Arbitration?” at: http://www.divorcingoptions.com/Blog/?p=130

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