Mediation seeks to reduce the tension and trauma of divorce, not increase it for the benefit of third party lawyers. Reduced stress and a sense of empowerment enables couples to recover more quickly from emotional and financial turmoil and look forward to the future. Unlike litigation, mediation does not force each spouse to view the other as an adversary. Instead, the mediator helps the couple work together to find the best way to separate and move forward. If hostile feelings and unproductive communications are reduced, individuals can better adjust to a separation or divorce and plan for a more productive future.
Mediation is a negotiation between parties using a neutral third-party to facilitate communication and resolution of difficult issues. An effective mediator must be impartial, and cannot offer legal advice or make decisions for the parties. The mediator will coach the participants in effective communication and assist them to craft a solution that is mutually agreeable. The parties must commit to negotiate in good faith and to an honest exchange of ideas, thoughts and information. Once consensus is reached, the mediator memorialize the arrangement in a legally binding agreement.
Mediation is particularly useful in family disputes between spouses, domestic partners, siblings, and parents. Mediation is effective for creating or revising a parenting plan (custody and visitation schedule), creating a cohabitation or premarital agreement, creating a financial plan, or deciding how to allocate property and business interests.