At the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution, we have been compiling a list of questions most frequently posed by couples considering divorce mediation.
How long does mediation take?
This question is difficult to answer without knowing the couple or their situation. However, based on our many years of experience, the average divorce mediation takes seven sessions with each “session” being two hours. An important factor in the length of a mediation, is the couple’s ability to do their “homework.” The more expeditiously the “homework” is done, the more efficient the process becomes, and in turn the more reasonable.
What issues/areas are covered in mediation?
The mediation process will cover the following areas, if applicable to your situation:
Division of assets and liabilities
Custody and parenting Support: child support and/or alimony
Health insurance and uninsured health expenses
Education of children, including postsecondary education and in some situations, the education of a spouse
Life insurance and Will provisions
Tax implications and terms
Additional issues may emerge in mediation depending upon each couple’s view of the areas to be covered and their interest in exploring not only the present, but also future consequences of their final agreement
What are the essential differences between mediation and litigation?
The most significant difference is who determines the outcome, i.e., the terms of the “settlement” agreement; in a litigated divorce, the judge decides; in a mediated divorce, the couple themselves decide.
With the assistance of an experienced mediator, the couple works to design an agreement specific to their needs, one that works for all family members, rather than two attorneys vying for (their clients’) “best deal” to be placed into a “boilerplate” document.
Do we have to go to court?
Yes, even couples that are filing a “non-contested” divorce, must have a judge approve their “petition” for divorce.
Do you offer a free /virtual consultation?
Yes we do. Call our office to set up an appointment at 781-239-1600.
What if my Spouse/Partner and I do not communicate well?
It is the mediator’s job to help the couple communicate.
A skilled and experienced mediator is able to draw out ideas from the less communicative party and to ensure that the other party does not monopolize or control the sessions.
The mediator’s job is to stimulate problem-solving through the provision of ideas, information, and the facilitation of communication.
Despite assistance, it is the couple that determines what is fair and appropriate for their family.
One side benefit of mediation is for spouses to learn how to communicate better, a valuable skill for the future, particularly if the couple has children.
How will I know if I’m getting a fair deal?
Mediation is not a process that takes place in a “space” outside the law. It is the mediator’s responsibility to help you to make knowledgeable decisions. You should be helped to weigh the familial and financial options and to explore alternatives. You should understand the impact of each alternative on you and your spouse – where you are making a compromise and where your spouse is providing you with an advantage. CMDR encourages its clients to seek legal review of their agreement prior to going to court.