Divorce mediation can help smooth over the bumps and help you move forward from your marriage. The objective of mediation is to minimize stress and help both partners find common ground. When both partners are able to compromise on critical issues, then everyone walks away a winner. Toward that goal, the following are important details to know about the mediation process.
Effective Mediation Requires Experience
It is vital that your attorney has solid negotiation skills. Your attorney must have the practical experience required to successfully mediate your divorce. This includes the ability to distill complex issues down to basic facts.
A skilled mediator can determine an acceptable division of assets, child custody, etc. Effective mediators have the ability to navigate sensitive topics with reason and rationale so that both sides can walk away from the table with an acceptable compromise.
You Make the Decisions During Mediation
In a courtroom, the judge will decide divorce details for you. During divorce mediation, you get to make the decisions. Your attorney will guide you and help you negotiate across the table. When negotiating parenting plans, child support, division of marital assets, allocation of debts, etc., the purpose of mediation is to reach an amicable agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
Practice and Preparation Are Invaluable
Even an amicable divorce is filled with emotion. Practicing with your attorney before the meeting can help you stay focused on the facts. It can help you identify the best negotiation strategies beforehand. Practice allows you to prepare for counter-offers and proposals from your spouse and their attorney. It will also help you identify the issues that are most likely to cause conflict during the mediation process.
Mediation Is Not Stress Free
Divorce mediation is less stressful than litigation, but it is not stress free. It is essential to maintain your physical, emotional, and mental health. Engaging in activities and hobbies that help you decompress and manage the stress is an invaluable investment of time. It will help you maintain your mental focus and physical strength so that each step forward doesn’t feel like you are slogging through mud.
There Is No Deadline for Mediation
Mediation can move forward as quickly or as slowly as you desire. When complex issues are involved, it is advisable to take a slow and steady approach. This helps ensure that the final agreement is fair, equitable, and acceptable to both parties. While some divorce mediations can be concluded in a day, it is not uncommon for the process to take several months or longer to complete.
Understand That Mediation May Not End Challenges
Agreements reached in mediation can be contested in court. Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-317 allows either party to contest the agreement if they claim they were under duress, unduly coerced, or not competent during the proceedings due to mental or physical disability. The agreement may also be challenged if either party claims the division of assets/debts is not fair or equitable. Either party may challenge child custody agreements if they believe the arrangement is not in the best interests of the child. The court can also reject the agreement in this regard, however, this is a rare occurrence.
The Simon Law Group, PLLC is available to answer your questions 24 hours a day. We invite you to contact us at (480) 745-2450 to learn more about divorce mediation and the things we do to prepare our clients for the process.