In legal terms, mediation is defined as a process that uses a professional third party to help facilitate the negotiation of certain disputes and conflicts. Mediation is common practice in family law used to discuss issues in a divorce. Divorce mediation sessions typically take place in an informal office setting, although you may be able to participate in mediation sessions virtually. The mediator, a trained, neutral third-party, can assist in resolving issues in a divorce such as child custody, child support and property division. In this article, we will address some of the most common benefits of divorce mediation as well as learn more about important points to keep in mind regarding the process.
Divorce mediation is an alternative to a long, drawn-out court battle over key issues of a divorce. During mediation, both partners allow a third party, known as the mediator, to referee contested issues such as property division, child custody, or spousal support.
Mediators usually charge by the hour and split the cost between the parties. A mediator can charge between $100 and $500 per hour with the total cost landing somewhere between $3,000 and $8,000. This does not include any external costs such as the fee for an attorney to represent a spouse during mediation.
There are three factors that determine how long mediation takes: money, availability, and willingness to negotiate. Depending on the respective levels of these resources, mediation may be concluded in a few days or a few months.
First, mediation may end if neither party is able to continue to pay the mediator. This may mean that both parties rush to conclude mediation, or that one party drags out the proceedings in order to force the divorce into court. Additionally, mediation could only last a few hours in total, but if one spouse or the other is unavailable, those few hours could be spaced weeks apart. Finally, mediation can be extended almost indefinitely if neither party is willing to compromise. A mediator does not have the authority to force anyone to do anything. Therefore, if one party refuses to compromise on an issue, the mediation can drag on with fruitless negotiations, or the mediator may declare that further mediation would be pointless.