Debunked! Don’t Believe These Divorce Mediation Myths!
When it comes to divorce, couples end up as adversaries, hiring separate attorneys to wrangle over child parenting time and support, maintenance, assets and anything else they care about. This often leads to added costs and increasing stress levels. However, in an effort to reduce stress and expenses, couples are turning to divorce mediation as a realistic and healthier alternative.
Mediators help you hammer out an agreement covering all the terms of your divorce, including finances and allocation of parenting responsibilities and holidays. However, since mediation isn’t mainstream/well known to the public, there are several myths and misconceptions about the process.
To ensure you do not fall prey to these myths, we have debunked a few of the most common myths about divorce mediation.
Myth 1: People going through a divorce can agree to whatever they want to, and a judge will accept it.
This is 100% not true. Though it is possible, it is highly unlikely that a judge will accept a divorce agreement that is considered "unconscionable" or favors one party so much that the other side would be at a significant financial disadvantage if the judge signed off on the agreement.
This one of the reasons why divorce mediation is gaining more traction as a way to obtain an equitable divorce. A divorce mediator is neutral, and as a neutral, he/she helps ensure that the agreements reached are suitable for both parties, their children and that a judge will accept it.
Myth 2: A divorce mediator can draft the necessary legal documents and get the divorce completed.
Often people believe that a divorce mediator, after helping the parties reach the necessary agreements to get divorced, can draft the necessary legal documents, for the county they live in, take those to court and they will be divorced. This again isn’t true.
A divorce mediator is neutral, and as a neutral, we are unable to draft the legal documents necessary to complete a divorce. Even if the divorce mediator is also an attorney. It is a two-step process. The divorce mediator is needed to help the parties reach the necessary agreements required by the State to get divorced and then either one or two attorneys are required to draft the legal paperwork and walk the parties through the court process. Though mediation cannot eliminate the attorney in most cases, the attorney’s price for the divorce is significantly reduced compared to people don’t mediate their divorce.
Myth 3: Divorce mediators must be attorneys
Again, this is one hundred percent false. Provided you have a background helping people, know divorce law, have experience and training working with children, and can function as a neutral no matter what, you have the background to be a divorce mediator.
As someone who has worked with families his entire career as a neutral party, assisted a few thousand people before, during and after a divorce to help make the process as peaceful and cost-effective as possible, I take great pride in being a ‘non-attorney’ in this profession. I have never been on one side nor fought tooth and nail to get one party as much as they can as part of a divorce. Frankly, that mentality makes me sick, and it is one of the reasons why I am in private practice.