Most mediations go through five different stages. Although they’re not always in the same sequence and a few may be repeated at various points, each stage is generally visited at least once during mediation. While each mediation is unique, below are the basic steps.
The mediator begins with the introductory phase to determine a plan for the whole mediation process. First, you’ll give information about your situation to the mediator, and you’ll receive information about what to expect. Based on your unique needs, the mediator will suggest an approach to optimize the likelihood of reaching an understanding.
Gathering Information Phase
In order for a successful mediation, the mediator, you, and your spouse will gather the information needed for the coming steps. The mediator may request you to bring in fiscal records, like mortgage and bank statements, or tax returns. The goal during this phase will be to gather enough documentation to allow you to negotiate a mutually beneficial arrangement.
During this phase of mediation, the mediator helps each partner summarize their motives and desires for the final divorce resolution. This could include matters of child custody, child support, alimony, property division, and other divorce related issues.
Once each spouse’s interests are identified, the mediator begins the negotiation phase. Each issue is presented for discussion and negotiation. In fact, one or both partners may need to compromise or discover alternatives in order to reach a resolution.
In this phase, the agreement — now considered to be an uncontested divorce — is placed into writing and provided to the courts. Then, the courts will make the agreement official and legally binding.
Mediation is an excellent way to handle a divorce quickly, amicably, and without a lot of expense. In fact, if you feel that you and your spouse agree on most issues related to the divorce or are willing to talk your issues out and make compromises, mediation may be the right choice for you.
At Lasley Family Law & Divorce, Attorney Mindi Lasley can help you explore the possibility of mediation and determine if this is the best approach in light of your interests. Contact Lasley Family Law & Divorce today for more information about mediation and divorce by calling (813) 873-9047 for a consultation.