Mediation has may advantages. It is a lot cheaper than litigation, you and your spouse control the process...not the Court, and it is much quicker than going through the litigation process. Mediation is done in the privacy of my office and agreements are made in a collaborative process. The only time that you will be going to Court is on your actual dissolution date. There is no waiting months for a court date or spending hours away from home or work in a stuffy courtroom. There are no motions to be filed and no additional fees to be paid for unnecessary hearings. You and your spouse make all the decisions and nothing is left up to the Court. You, (not a judge or jury) will decide together on a solution to your problems and the mediator will help you with those negotiations. A good mediator will have a background in Conflict Resolution, Psychology, Mediation and Law.
Mediation is one of the most frequently used methods of negotiating a divorce settlement and anyone who is involved in a divorce should consider mediation as an option. Although each mediatior has their own approach, most mediators tend to move along the same lines. To get started, the paperwork must be filed with the Court in your jurisdiction and a Docket # must be obtained. Then the mediator will cover about 25 different areas of your divorce proceedings to make sure that nothing is missed. Once agreements have been made on these issues, the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding for you to review. When you feel that the agreement is a fair and equitable, you will both sign it and the mediator will seal it for the Court. On your dissolution date, the judge will review your agreements and then grant your divorce. There will be nothing for the the Court to decide because you have already made the decisions for them, so the process is short and sweet. The mediators job is to keep you on track during your proceedings and encourage you and your spouse to come to resolutions in a timely manner so that you don't prolong your divorce.
The nice thing about mediation is that everyone walks away as a winner, unlike litigation where there are clear winners and losers.