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Common Misconceptions About Mediation
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). It involves negotiations that are facilitated by a neutral third party. Unlike arbitration, the mediator does not make a decision. Instead, the goal of mediation is to encourage divorcing couples to work together closely to resolve their divorce issues – and hopefully lessen the number of divorce litigation cases on the court docket.
While mediation is not a cure for all disagreements in a divorce, it can be one of the more efficient, cost-effective solutions for a settlement.
What Are The Common Misconceptions About Mediation?
Mediation will not work, especially when one spouse has a history of never listening to the other. Mediation can actually give both parties in the divorce a chance to be heard – and previous relationship statuses in the marriage are not allowed in mediation. A mediator is a well-trained expert that opens communication between each side, and they can meet with each spouse individually to ensure their questions, concerns, and needs are heard.
Mediation takes longer than going to trial. In reality, mediation is much faster than litigation, and it is also cheaper than reaching a settlement in court.
Mediators make the final decision regarding the divorce settlement. The truth is, the mediator has no authority to make final decisions regarding a divorce – only a judge has the authority to do so.
Mediation will force one spouse to sign into an unfair divorce agreement. There is no obligation to sign an agreement during mediation. The mediator is a neutral third-party and they have no stake in the outcome of a divorce.
Mediation means that spouses cannot bring their own attorneys. A spouse can have their divorce attorney present for mediation. In fact, it is encouraged that each spouse consult with a divorce attorney to explore their options and receive a better understanding of their rights.
Mediation agreements are not binding. If both parties sign the mediation agreement, then it is an enforceable contract. However, the mediator does not make the final decision. Instead, each party must come to a written agreement that is signed by both parties.
Mediation limits how much control each spouse has in the divorce process. To the contrary. Mediation actually gives each spouse more control over the divorce and allows for better distribution opportunities and settlements.