What Is Mediation?

When you get a divorce, there are a number of issues that must be resolved before the end of the marriage can be finalized. In a typical divorce, the resolution of issues like property division, child custody, child support and spousal support may all need to be worked out in court, with the assistance of attorneys and at significant expense. Many people are choosing mediation in Ohio to avoid the high costs and emotional turmoil of litigation.

Divorce mediation involves meeting with your spouse and a mediator, a neutral individual who is trained to help divorcing couples come to agreements on difficult issues. The mediator is not the one who makes the final decisions — it is up to you and your spouse to decide what terms are agreeable to both of you. The benefit of the mediator is that he or she can make it much easier to make such decisions.

When you meet with the mediator, he or she will typically request that both you and your spouse abide by certain rules that will facilitate the process, such as allowing the other person to speak, avoiding name-calling and avoiding shouting. The mediator will listen to what you have to say and will then help summarize your position. They will do the same for your spouse. Then, the mediator will help you come up with options that you can both agree with. Ideally, with the help of the mediator, you and your spouse can reach decisions on all the issues surrounding your divorce.

What Are The Benefits Of Mediation?

Going through mediation should allow you to reach agreements on all the issues that the state of Ohio will require decisions on, like how you will divide up your property, who will have custody of the children and what child support payments will be. When you have all of these things decided in terms that are acceptable to the court, you can file for an uncontested divorce — which is faster and less expensive than a divorce where the court has to make decisions on such issues. Mediation puts you in a position to file the simplest divorce available to you.

Tips For Divorce Mediation In Ohio

1. Hire an experienced divorce attorney

Divorce is complicated. It is always advisable to meet with a divorce attorney prior to mediation and then after mediation before you file your documents. Your attorney will have your best interests in mind and will be able to help you determine what terms you should seek in mediation. After mediation, your attorney can go over your agreements and verify that they are fair and in your best interests. He or she can also help you file and complete the divorce process.

2. Write down the things you want to cover in mediation

Work with your attorney to create a list of what you want to talk about and what you want to get out of the process. Talking about divorce issues can be emotional, and it is easy to get sidetracked even when you are working with a mediator. Your list will keep you focused and make sure you cover everything important to you.

3. Choose your mediator carefully

You want to work with someone you can trust. You can speak to your attorney and people you know to see if there are any mediators that they recommend. Interview a few mediators and ask them about their certifications, their experience and if they have any recent references.

4. Commit yourself to the process

Mediation only works if both sides are committed to reaching equitable solutions. You cannot control your spouse, but you can make sure you go into mediation with every intention of success.

How Much Does Mediation Cost?

Mediators may cost between $100 and $300 an hour, although prices can vary considerably depending on the area and the experience of the mediator. It may take several mediation sessions to work through all issues surrounding the divorce.

Although there is some expense to hiring a mediator, doing so can often save you money in the long run. The cost of a few mediation sessions is far less than the cost of a protracted court battle. Depending on your situation, mediation may be the most financially prudent option.

Contact An Attorney Today

If you are considering divorce and would like to know more about your legal options, please contact one of our Cleveland divorce attorneys at Laubacher & Co. We offer a free initial consultation, where you can discuss your situation and learn more about what divorce option is best for you.