What is the Role of a Divorce Mediator?

If you would like to resolve your divorce amicably rather than going through a bitter court battle, you might want to consider using a divorce mediator. Mediation can help people resolve most, if not all, of their contested issues.

A North Carolina family law attorney could serve as your divorce mediator or work as your divorce attorney in coordination with a mediator. Let’s explore the question of what is the role of a divorce mediator?

What a Divorce Mediator Does

A divorce mediator does not represent either party to a divorce. The mediator does not make the decisions about the contested issues. A mediator will talk to both spouses and facilitate them in reaching their own agreement.

Usually, the parties will meet with the mediator at an office rather than in a courtroom. Sometimes, the mediator will meet with both parties together for some meetings and separately for other meetings. If the mediator meets with either party without the other party being present, that fact should get disclosed to the other party.

Both parties will state their positions on a given issue. The mediator might then ask questions to try to clarify a spouse’s statement or restate what one of the parties said and ask them to confirm that the mediator understood them correctly. There will be ground rules so that neither party dominates the conversation or is abusive or threatening.

Mediation typically involves more than one meeting. When the parties have made all the progress that they can, the mediator will draft a proposed agreement that represents the terms by which they resolved their issues and identifies the topics left unresolved.

If the entire divorce gets settled through mediation, the parties can go forward to obtain an uncontested divorce. If there are still issues in dispute, the parties can have their attorneys address those issues and either reach a settlement or go to trial.

Benefits of Using a Mediator in Your Divorce

Mediation is not for everyone, but if you and your spouse are good candidates for this means of alternative dispute resolution, you will likely experience benefits like these:

  • Mediation can save money. Usually, resolving your disputes out of court is less expensive than having knock-down, drag-out courtroom battles. 
  • It can be quicker to resolve your divorce issues through mediation than having to wait to get on the court docket for multiple hearings and for a trial.
  • Mediation can give you and your spouse much more control over the arrangements for your children, money, and the future than having a judge decide those issues using cookie-cutter support worksheets and visitation schedules.
  • Mediation is much more private than having your disputes get argued in an open courtroom with other people present. 
  • When you can resolve your divorce through mediation, you will not have to put your family and future in the hands of a total stranger, the judge, who does not know you or your family.
  • The process of divorce mediation teaches people how to resolve conflicts, which can make for a more peaceful time after divorce and save a great deal of money on future legal fees. 

A North Carolina family law attorney can answer your questions about divorce mediation and how it might be beneficial in your situation. Contact our office today for a free consultation.