Four considerations for effective and successful divorce mediation

If you decide you want to mediate, be sure to follow these four steps to insure an effective process:

  • Meet with an attorney first to advise you of what your rights are, to enable you to understand the parameters of what settlement range would be reasonable in your situation, as well as to discuss the options you have in resolving outstanding issues. This will help you during the process of mediation and be advantageous when negotiating a settlement. Mediation is a negotiation, and if you don’t have a lawyer, then you are negotiating for yourself, by yourself.
  • Pick a mediator: Like any other profession, there are mediators who are unskilled and mediators not educated in divorce and family law. Get a quality recommendation from someone you trust; make sure you understand what qualifications your mediator has. If you chose a mediator who is not an attorney, s/he cannot draft a Separation Agreement for you.
  • Trust your gut during the mediation process. You and your soon-to-be-ex should be able to work together, in good faith, with your mediator to resolve issues that affect you and your family. Your mediator can provide legal information but cannot provide legal advice. If it doesn’t feel right, move on. Confidence in the process and full disclosure is essential to effective mediation, and not every couple is an ideal candidate for mediation.
  • Meet with an attorney again! before you finalize an agreement and before you sign an Agreement (or Memorandum of Understanding). The language in the agreement matters. Every word counts. Don’t skip this step or you may  regret your decision and be unable to change the agreements you made.
  • Ryan Faenza Carey is a firm of seven attorneys, (including four attorney/mediators) concentrating in all aspects of divorce and family law.   Whether you are interested in mediation, arbitration, traditional representation, conciliation or coaching, we can help you. Call our office to speak with an attorney.
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