In mediation, spouses work together with the help of a well-trained neutral mediator to reach agreement on the issues in their divorce. You and your spouse control the process and make the decisions. The role of the mediator is to structure and facilitate communication, provide information, identify issues, ensure fairness and civility, promote joint problem-solving, and commit agreements to writing.
Mediation not only resolves legal issues; it promotes healing and helps couples transition into new roles as ex-spouses and co-parents. As a rule, parties are vastly more satisfied with agreements reached through mediation than with outcomes imposed by the court; children suffer less trauma when their parents mediate; and mediation costs are a fraction of the costs of litigation.
A common misperception is that mediation is only for couples who get along. Not true. Mediation can be extremely effective even for high-conflict spouses, helping you manage emotions, improve communications, focus on the relevant issues, identify shared goals and solve problems jointly. Mediation can work at any time – before, during or after divorce.
Mediation sessions generally last two to three hours, but may run longer if we are making good progress and our schedules allow. Some couples are able to reach agreement in one or two sessions, but most require several sessions to work through the issues and reach a final agreement.