Minnesota Divorce Mediation: An Overview

An alternative to traditional litigation-based divorce is divorce mediation. When a couple opts to use this method of resolving the issues that attend a divorce, they work together to decide how the divorce will proceed. Both parties work together to determine what is best for them both with regard to ending their marriage. This includes not only the issues directly affecting the two of them, but also those issues that affect their children.

In divorce mediation, both parties meet and work with a neutral third party to create solutions so that the marriage can end amicably and with as little stress as possible. Because the parties are working together to come to terms, divorce mediation is often more cost effective than traditional adversarial divorces, where the parties litigate the issues in court.

Many issues can be resolved during mediation. They include the distribution of property and child support and maintenance, as well as child custody and parenting time. Because the parties are working with a mediator and are dedicated to working together to find a resolution, the terms are quite often amenable to both parties. There is not one winning side; instead, mediation is an opportunity for the parties to work together so that both sides feel like they have been heard and their needs have been met.

During divorce mediation, your mediator will work with both parties to keep lines of communication open so that everyone is focused on the issues. This keeps the parties from falling into disruptive or antagonistic patterns, where emotions run high and frustration keeps the parties from working together. The mediator is a dedicated, neutral professional who has been trained to work with divorcing couples and so has the background to work with each couple and help them see that an end result where everyone is involved in the outcome can be beneficial to all.

Divorce mediation is not a one-size-fits-all method of ending a marriage. The mediation is flexible, taking into account the needs of each party and of the family unit as a whole. Because each family is unique, each divorce is unique. The purpose of mediation is to bring the family's frame of reference to the table in working out the issues that attend a divorce. Parenting time and child custody issues can be resolved by both parties working together to benefit the best needs of the children.

Because the mediator is a neutral party, she is unable to give advice to either party involved in the divorce. However, the mediator does act on behalf of both parties, keeping communication open and helping the couple make decisions by working through a respectful process. This process often takes far less time to hammer out details than a conventional divorce, with the parties meeting as frequently as they would like in order to work through their issues. By aiding both parties to come to terms that are beneficial and acceptable to all, a mediator helps the couple determine the terms of the divorce.

Once the terms have been determined by both parties, the parties usually hire attorneys for the discreet purpose of drafting and finalizing the agreement. Because the terms have been determined in a collaborative manner, they are acceptable to both parties and there is less contention and need for judicial intervention. This means that there is less time spent in the courtroom, arguing over issues.

A divorce mediation can be a less expensive, less frustrating and quicker option for a couple contemplating divorce. If you are considering divorce mediation and have questions, please contact Kimberly Miller today to schedule a free consultation.