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What should I expect if I choose mediation for my divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2022 | Divorce |

When people think of divorce, they think of grueling courtroom battles with their ex fighting over everything from who gets the family home to who gets custody of the children. In addition to the time and extensive costs required for a traditional divorce, couples often feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless court proceedings. Fortunately, many couples can avoid the stress involved in a traditional divorce by opting for mediation instead.

How does mediation work?

When a Michigan couple agrees to mediation, a neutral third-party mediator will help the couple by serving as the go-between throughout the divorce. A mediator will facilitate communication, connect the couple to various experts, and help resolve any disputes that arise.

The specifics of a mediation will depend on the needs of the couple. While some couples may be able to resolve all their issues in one session, others may require multiple meetings. Generally, however, the process will look like this:

  • Initial meeting: Couple, ideally with their individual attorneys, will meet with mediator, identify key issues, and determine what information needs to be collected.
  • Information gathering: Couple and their attorneys will gather financial statements and expert opinions from appraisers and other professionals.
  • Follow-up meetings: Couple, along with their attorneys, will meet with mediator one or more times to discuss how to resolve issues identified in initial meeting.
  • Agreement: Once all issues have been addressed and resolved, the mediator will draft an agreement to be reviewed by parties and their attorneys.
  • File paperwork: The agreement must be signed by both parties and filed with the court, along with all other necessary documentation. Once the court has entered a final judgment based on the agreement, both parties are legally obligated to adhere to the terms of the order.

Mediation can save divorcing couples time and money and make the divorce process much easier for everyone involved. However, it is not the best solution for all couples. If you are considering mediation, an attorney can advise you on whether it is the right path for you.