Reaching Equitable Solutions Before Filing For Divorce
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. To avoid the financial burden of court battles and the emotional turmoil that comes along with them, many people are choosing divorce mediation in Ohio as an alternative to the standard divorce. Mediation, where you meet with a trained mediator who can help you and your spouse reach solutions that you can both be happy with – before you go to court – can be an effective way to work out differences and make your divorce as easy as possible.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
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, and 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 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 interest. 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.
Understanding Ohio Family Law Mediation
Q: What is family law mediation?
A: Mediation helps parties in a dispute resolve their legal issues outside of court. A mediator is a neutral third party who helps and guide the parties to reach an agreement. Family law matters are often extremely contentious. Issues like divorce, child custody and money matters tend to stir up intense emotions. Family law mediation can help make the divorce process a less stressful event. Moreover, it can minimize the hostility and help estranged couples settle their disputes in a more expedient and less expensive manner than fighting in court.
Q: Can I get my divorce through family law mediation?
A: A mediator cannot grant your divorce. You must still file for divorce and appear in court to receive your final orders. However, if you are able to come to an agreement on your divorce issues and terms through mediation, you will be able to seek a non-contested divorce or a dissolution, which will proceed much more quickly than a contested divorce.
Q: What is a collaborative divorce?
A: For couples who are committed to working towards an amicable divorce even though they may not agree to all the terms at the outset, a collaborative divorce may be a great option. Both parties must pledge to enter negotiations in an open and honest manner. Neither party may threaten the other with court and must come to the table with good faith efforts to negotiate. Each spouse is represented by a collaborative divorce attorney. Each party meets with his/her attorney privately and in joint meetings with all parties. In the joint meetings, the parties will work towards a resolution of any disagreements to arrive at terms that both parties are satisfied with. All parties must agree to resolve their issues without litigations. If negotiations break down, the collaborative divorce lawyers will not represent the spouses in court.
Contact A Cleveland Divorce Attorney
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.
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