Mediation Process of Divorce

15 Nov 2018 - Purna Krishnamoorthy

When you are going through or contemplating divorce it is always a highly stressful, messy and sensitive time. Emotions are on high, children are involved, money and property distribution seem to always frustrate one side or the other.

There are a plethora of reasons why practicing family law can be as difficult for the attorneys involved as it can be for the family going through the process. Signs of frustration become increasingly apparent once the process of mediation is at play. These difficult times call for an attorney who is both patient and firm, one who knows how to play by the rules and not get “run out of the game.” Strategic and tactical planning is necessary in order for interests to be protected to the fullest extent of the law, and mediation is where this plan begins.

At times mediation is court ordered, other times the parties voluntarily attend. The goal of mediation is to assess the issues facing both parties, and with a neutral mediator, the parties are urged to reach fair resolutions. Some of the issues mediation was created to address include:

  • Property Division

  • Child Support

  • Change of Domicile

  • Parenting Time (child custody)/Visitation

  • Spousal Support (alimony)

When the parties decide to skip the process of mediation they are left with the binding decisions made by the Judge. The parties may not like and/or agree with these decisions, but this is the Court’s way of instilling order over these highly chaotic situations.

It is because the parties are mandatorily bound by the Judge’s decision that attorneys take the process of mediation so seriously. During this time your attorney may request you make concessions to the other side, ones that you may not have been prepared for. However, this should not aggravate you, after all the process of mediation is a cooperative effort, and this is all apart of the negotiations. Also, the recommendation of the mediator is just that, a recommendation, one that can be adjusted via subsequently filed motions and as per the Judge’s view. Of equal importance is remembering that throughout the process of divorce neither party will walk away 100% happy. Just as marriage was a contract of compromise, so is divorce.

Paramount to the entirety of divorce is keeping in mind that you, through your case, are being watched and scrutinized. The mediator will surely note how agreeable you have been in comparison to your partner. Any observed impressions in the mediator’s recommendation can be passed along to the Judge. Moreover, if you have been displaying an aggressive demeanor the Judge will likely not approve. Judges have seen divorce work amicably between parties as well as horrendously. Always remain on the side of amicability during the process, it will surely get you better results in the end. Be honest about your needs, but let your attorney be your industrious soldier.

As with anything in life there are both pros and cons to the process of mediation, but most attorneys will tell you the pros do outweigh the cons. For example, the fact that mediation gives the parties control over their case allows for a fairer end result. Also, you save both time and money if you properly prepare for mediation by walking in with a collaborative effort and open mind.

When preparing to hire counsel for a divorce proceeding make sure you bring on board someone who you are you confident in, comfortable with and someone who can keep your head leveled. An experienced attorney can make all the difference. If you, or someone you know is going through or contemplating divorce and is seeking legal advice, please give Krishnamoorthy & Associates a call at (248) 358-6995 x3159.

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