Uncontested Divorce Mediation
- Consultation and Scheduling
The process starts with a free Zoom consultation where the mediator will explain the process from the day you start mediation, thru the day of the divorce, and everything in between. They will also detail the costs associated with the mediation process from start the finish and answer every process related questions you have. Consultations typically are 30 minutes in length. At the end of the consultation, you can start the mediation process immediately, set up a meeting or think about it and get back to the mediator if you choose to proceed. Never feel pressured to start the mediation process after a consultation, as you both must be ready to proceed for the process to work equally for both of you.
- Mediation Sessions
Mediation sessions are scheduled every 1-2 weeks and for 2 hours at a time. During the first session, a good mediator will go through the issues to be mediated and provide you a “common sense” explanation of what you need to agree to. They will discuss your concerns, worries, find out what you have already agreed to, learn what you feel may be difficult to discuss, set an agenda and provide homework to do in between the sessions. They will also ask questions about your finances, your assets and debts, what asset and debts are in both you and your spouse’s names vs. your individual names, how the finances are being handled at that time, ask about transparency or lack of transparency with your finances, etc. At the end of the first session, your mediator should give you both parenting and financial homework to work on prior to the next session, making sure you only work together on homework you both know you are able to work on together and be productive.
After the first session, and every session after that, issues are discussed in detail and agreements reached. Your mediator should discuss issues that you want to discuss and never tell you what to discuss. However, though most clients discuss parenting issues first and financial issues second, you are in control as to what is discussed and when.
Once the necessary agreements are reached to achieve an equity settlement, one that is good for both of you and in your children’s best interests, your mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which spells out your agreement in full detail and in common sense terms. During the last mediation session, you and the mediator will review the MOU page by page, with the mediator making all agreed upon updates you want. At this meeting, the mediator will make sure you understand everything you agreed to, that you understand what it means going forward and that it makes sense. Without the mediator doing this, there is a likelihood you will have issues with your agreements in the future.
Though there is no 100% guarantee you will not have disagreements in the future, mediated agreement are proven to be much stronger agreements than those reached through litigation, they are more likely to be complied with and understood, they help maintain a positive co-parenting relationship and ensure your children’s best interests are exceeded during the process.