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The Divorce Mediation Process

Instead of placing your future in the hands of a judge who hardly has time to get acquainted with your circumstances, you and your spouse can dictate the terms of your future with the help of a mediator. The typical divorce mediation will progress along five stages. If you are researching the benefits of a mediated divorce and want to know whether this process would work for you, read on to get an inside look into how mediation actually works. As a disclaimer, this is more of a general outline of the mediation process. Not every mediation will happen in this particular order.

The first stage in a mediated divorce is probably going to be the introductory stage though. This is where the mediator, a qualified and neutral third party, hears out the basics of your case, and then tells you the game plan for helping you and your spouse to agree on the terms of a divorce settlement.

Then there is a potentially long information-gathering stage. This is where you will have to track down the nitty-gritty details of the divorce, anything from the policy number of a life insurance policy to tax returns and mortgage statements. This is also a time for the mediator to explain New York divorce law and how it could factor into your case. This gives you a framework within which to create the terms of child custody, property division, child support, and alimony, etc. The mediator will have to assess whether all the information is complete, or if you will need to collect more. Understandably, you may have to expect this part of the process to take up at least two meetings. Getting these details nailed down is worth it though.

The framing stage is where the mediator tries to understand where each spouse is coming from, their "needs and interests", why they want the settlement they do. The mediator wants to know the goals that each spouse has for the divorce settlement. Depending on the circumstances, a mediator might talk with each spouse separately, or conduct this part of the process in a joint meeting. However it is done, a mediator is going to try to find areas where each spouse hopes for a similar outcome.

After this foundation has been laid, the mediator will strive to have spouses negotiate the terms of the divorce agreement in the negotiating stage. Of course, spouses cannot agree perfectly in every area, and the point of mediation is that spouses have to be willing to compromise in order to find the optimal resolution. The mediator is there to help spouses keep the conversation respectful and productive, enabling them to write up the draft for a balanced settlement. A mediator cannot tell you what to do, however. Their suggestions carry no legal authority.

Finally, in the concluding stage, you and your spouse can review your settlement draft. Ideally, with the help of an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer on your side, you can make sure that everything is covered and that your rights have not been violated. Then when you and your spouse have signed off on the final draft, this divorce settlement can go before a judge to be approved by him or her.

In this way, you may be able to conclude an amicable divorce, and you will have saved yourself time and money in the process. If you are interested in pursuing the advantages of a mediated divorce, contact the Meyers Law Group, P.C. today! Find out how a compassionate Long Island divorce mediator could help you arrive at the divorce settlement you deserve.