If you are going through a family law issue, you may ask yourself what is mediation in a divorce case? Below, we talk about that and what you need to know about the topic.
In some divorce cases, individuals and/or their attorneys may elect to “mediate” their cases; in other circumstances, judges may order mediation before the cases are brought to them in court. Mediation is an effort to settle the terms and issues of divorces “out of court.” Mediation is confidential—private! Mediation is about couples’ working together, making decisions in the best interest of their children, and focusing on being good parents.
In divorce mediation, couples meet with a neutral party, the mediator, and with his or her assistance, they may come to a resolution on any issues upon which they have not already agreed. Quite often, the mediator is an attorney (not connected to either party) or a retired judge. The mediator’s role is to assist couples with agreements on issues, such as distribution of property (both assets and liabilities), child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, retirement, and taxes.
Some agreements are decided easily; others take much more effort and time. The mediator’s role is to intervene when agreements are difficult to reach. He or she must keep the lines of communications open and keep the couples grounded in reality. Quite often a mediator will see the necessity to “step in” when couples get off focus and begin to argue, to name call, or to rehash bad memories. However, a mediator must remain neutral which means he or she does not “work” for either party. Therefore, he or she cannot give advice to either party.
Communication Is The Key To Successful Mediation
Communication is a key component of successful mediation. Effective mediators keep the “animosity” between parties to a minimum. They instill in parties the urgency to be “civil,” to be empathetic to the feelings and opinions of their spouses. If children are involved, mediators must urge parties to begin working together for the sake of their children. Mediators know responsible interaction and amicable communication concerning their children after the divorces are crucial to a positive future for the families.
Even though mediators cannot “choose sides,” they can, however, assist divorcing couples in voicing ideas that can eventually lead to agreements. In essence, mediators encourage spouses to “negotiate” with each other and to avoid “drawing lines” that neither spouse can cross. They remove the walls of communication and nudge couples toward a free exchange of information which often leads to negotiations of resolutions.
Divorces in Alabama courts are public domain. Anyone can be sitting in a courtroom to hear the “details” of individuals’ divorce issues. Divorce mediations can eliminate the need for court appearances as they are confidential in nature and conducted privately. Many couples had rather decide among themselves about their assets, liabilities, and most importantly, the futures of their children after divorces. Instead of allowing judges to make those decisions in a courtroom, they choose to make agreements during mediation.
Our Huntsville Divorce Attorneys are proactive and can help represent you during your divorce and other family law issues. If you have questions or need legal counsel, please contact us at (256) 859-7277.