Divorce Mediation Checklist: What To Expect. How to Prepare.

Divorce mediation is becoming increasingly popular to resolve divorce cases without going to court. However, couples who choose mediation may only get the most out of the process if they prepare.

This article covers everything you need to know about a successful divorce mediation before you attend the first meeting. Preparing documents and thinking through important issues will help you achieve optimal results.

We also have a checklist of questions to ask yourself before you go to mediation and tips on preparing for your first session.

The information in this article is for general educational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. Please discuss your particular circumstances with an appropriate professional before taking action.

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What is Divorce Mediation?

Before we get into our checklist, let’s examine what mediation is and its role.

Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) method. More specifically, it’s an alternative to a traditional contested divorce litigated in court.

Mediation involves two parties discussing issues about their divorce settlement with an impartial third party, the mediator. These discussions take place outside of court, and the goal is to resolve matters without litigating your divorce in court. Unlike litigation, the mediation process is far less adversarial and provides several advantages. We will explore the benefits of mediation, including saving money, reducing the impact on children, and minimizing stress.

However, it’s important to note that divorce mediation is not always successful. Mediation is only feasible if both parties are willing to participate and compromise. Sometimes, couples cannot agree on a settlement.

What is a Mediator?

A divorce mediator is a trained professional who helps couples going through a divorce to agree on matters related to their split, such as financial and child custody issues. The mediator acts as a neutral third party and facilitates communication between the two parties, working with them to develop mutually beneficial solutions. They’ll encourage both sides to listen carefully, respect each other’s viewpoints, and focus on resolving the dispute.

Mediation aims not only to help reach a mutually agreeable outcome but also to ensure that the process itself is amicable and non-adversarial – something that can be difficult during emotionally charged proceedings such as divorce. Mediators are typically experienced in family law and understand how to navigate these complex disputes.

Are You and Your Spouse Good Candidates for Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation—a process that involves both parties negotiating and discussing a settlement with the help of an impartial mediator—can provide divorcing couples with an effective, efficient way to reach an agreement. However, in order for it to be successful, there are certain issues that should be taken into consideration before entering into mediation.

First and foremost, both parties should have the desire to work together cooperatively toward a resolution. A willingness to compromise is also crucial; if one party is not ready or open to considering mutually acceptable solutions, then mediation may not be the best option.

It’s also important for each person involved in the divorce proceedings to have access to legal counsel so they can understand their rights and responsibilities going into the negotiation process; having someone familiar with family law provides essential guidance during this often stressful time.

Additionally, both sides should enter mediation feeling secure in their ability to reach a fair agreement without pressure from outside sources; if either partner feels forced into making concessions they are uncomfortable with, this will likely result in dissatisfaction down the road.

And finally, it’s important that each person trusts that their interests are being looked after by their mediator—a professional who has experience dealing with similar cases will know how best to approach difficult conversations and assist couples in understanding all of their options.

By carefully considering these factors prior to engaging in divorce mediation, couples can make sure they’re entering negotiations prepared and confident about finding a beneficial outcome for both parties involved.

What are the Advantages of Divorce Mediation?

  • It’s inexpensive compared to hiring divorce attorneys due to lower mediator fees and splitting those fees with your spouse.
  • Avoids the delays inherent in court procedures
  • The mediator guides the process, promoting dialog and moving the settlement forward.
  • Mediation is voluntary rather than forced by one spouse upon the other.
  • Mediation may result in a better post-divorce relationship with your former spouse.
  • Mediation may be easier on the children due to the non-adversarial approach.
  • Rather than relinquishing decision-making power to a judge, you have an active role in your future.

What are the Disadvantages of Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation can be a great way to settle disputes in an amicable and costeffective manner. However, there are some potential disadvantages that couples should be aware of.

  • First, divorce mediation is voluntaryboth parties must agree to mediate and to make decisions jointly with the assistance of a mediator. If one party is not willing or able to take part, then its likely that the process will not move forward.
  • Second, divorce mediation typically may not involve legal advice from attorneys for each party. This means that both partners need to have enough knowledge of the law and their rights in order for effective negotiation between them to occur. Without proper guidance, it may be easy for either party to unknowingly waive important rights or make concessions they would not have otherwise made.
  • Third, divorcing couples who accept the settlement terms reached through mediation usually cannot go back later on and ask for further changes or modifications once all parties have signed off on a final agreement. Thus, it’s critical that any settlement accurately reflect everyone’s interests before putting pen to paper.

Collaborative Divorce vs. Divorce Mediation

Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are two methods of ending a marriage that allows individuals to settle outside of court. Both offer couples an alternative to the traditional court-based system and give them more control over their settlement outcome.

The most significant difference between collaborative divorce and mediation is the presence of lawyers; in collaborative divorce, both sides are represented by legally trained professionals. In mediation, each party is typically represented by one lawyer (acting as a mediator) or none. In collaborative divorce, both spouses meet with their legal teams to negotiate an agreement without going through litigation in court. On the other hand, during mediation, a neutral third-party mediator facilitates discussions between the spouses to help them agree on their terms.

In addition, while collaborative divorce can lead to faster results since it bypasses much of the process involved in litigating a case in court, this method may require more time than mediation due to additional meetings with each spouse’s attorney and other professionals involved, such as financial advisors or child custody experts. Furthermore, collaboration requires negotiation between both parties’ attorneys rather than just one mediator, so it can be more costly than having one mediator present for mediation sessions.

Ultimately, whether couples choose collaborative divorce or mediation depends on their specific needs and circumstances; however, these two approaches have proven effective for many couples seeking an amicable resolution outside of court — allowing them more autonomy and control over how they will move forward after the end of their marriage.

Court Litigation vs. Divorce Mediation

Litigation is a process that involves two parties resolving their case in court. That will likely involve lengthy court proceedings, during which each party is in an adversarial stance with the other. Ultimately, a judge decides every aspect of the case: asset division, child custody, spousal maintenance, and other issues. Generally, litigation is much more expensive, time-consuming, and stressful than alternatives.

Mediation is an “alternative dispute resolution,” also known as an ADR. Trained professionals called mediators to resolve disputes outside the courtroom. Rather than a possibly contentious legal proceeding, spouses agree to meet with a mediator to discuss their differences. The mediator helps spouses understand each other’s viewpoint and to arrive at agreeable terms. After an agreement, the mediator writes down the settlement details and sends them to the lawyers representing both sides (assuming an advisory divorce attorney is involved). Then the lawyers present the settlement to the judge, who approves it. Both parties to the divorce pay their individual attorneys’ fees, and the case ends.

Divorce Arbitration vs. Divorce Mediation

Divorce arbitration and divorce mediation are alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR) that couples can use to resolve disagreements related to their divorce. While both processes focus on collaboration, respect, and communication between parties, there are also some key differences between the two approaches.

Divorce arbitration is when an arbitrator acts as a neutral third party to resolve disputes related to the couple’s divorce. The arbitrator will listen to both sides, assess the evidence presented by each party, and make a binding decision that is legally enforceable. The decision made by the arbitrator is final; couples cannot appeal it or take it back once it has been issued. This process results in quicker decisions than litigation but still requires legal representation for each spouse due to the binding nature of the decision-making process.

Divorce mediation utilizes a mediator who acts as a facilitator for discussion between the spouses about matters such as division of assets, spousal support, or child custody arrangements. Unlike arbitration, a mediator does not have authority over any decisions that are made during this process; instead, they act only as an impartial guide who helps facilitate discussions between both parties so that they can reach mutually beneficial agreements together without involving attorneys or going through formal court proceedings. Divorce mediation takes longer than arbitration but allows greater flexibility and control over outcomes since couples can decide how they want things resolved rather than having someone else decide for them.

Overall, while both processes utilize ADR techniques to help couples come to mutually agreeable solutions without involving litigation or lengthy court proceedings, there are essential differences between them that must be considered before making any decisions about which route might be best suited for their particular situation.

Is Divorce Mediation the Right Choice?

Mediation is an excellent option for couples undergoing a challenging separation or divorce. Instead of fighting over money and marital assets, both parties work with a neutral third party to resolve issues like child legal custody, visitation rights, and spousal support.

A mediator doesn’t take sides; they listen to both parties and try to help them reach an agreement that works best for everyone. Mediators aren’t lawyers, so they can’t give legal advice or represent either side in court. Mediation has many benefits, including lower costs, faster resolution, and increased client satisfaction. Mediation is much less stressful than litigation, which may lead to emotional problems such as depression and anxiety.

A successful mediation depends on you and your spouse willingly participating in discussions about each other, your children, and financial issues. Of course, it means working with the mediator for the problems you cannot resolve.

What Are the Issues Addressed During Mediation?

Divorce mediation is a process in which spouses work with a neutral third party called a mediator. The idea is to agree on the terms of their divorce with the mediator’s guidance. During this process, the parties can discuss and address various issues related to their separation.

Some common topics addressed during divorce mediation include child custody and visitation arrangements, division of property and assets, spousal support, debt allocation, and other financial matters. The mediator will help the parties understand each issue so that they can reach a fair agreement for both sides. The mediator will also encourage communication between the parties so both sides feel heard and understood throughout the negotiation.

In addition to addressing practical issues like those mentioned above, divorce mediation can also provide an opportunity for couples to talk through any emotional problems stemming from their relationship or divorce. This could involve topics such as how to co-parent after the divorce is finalized effectively or how each spouse feels about certain aspects of the separation process.

Divorce mediation aims to help couples settle quickly while minimizing conflict between them. By collaboratively addressing all relevant issues with assistance from a trained professional, couples can end their marriage in an amicable manner that works best for everyone involved.

Questions to Consider Before Committing

Think through these questions before committing to mediation:

  1. Is your spouse on board with the idea of mediation? Mediation requires the open, active participation of both spouses.
  2. What are you trying to achieve? Are there specific topics you have not been able to agree on with your spouse? Which issues do you think will require the mediator to discuss and resolve?
  3. How much money can you and your spouse spend? You can tune your mediation budget to a certain extent towards a figure you and your spouse can afford. Suppose you can agree on at least some issues before mediation. In that case, that will help the mediator focus their time on “stickier” points that require their expertise to negotiate.

The Basic Steps of the Divorce Mediation Process

The divorce mediation process can be broken down into several basic steps.

  • First, both parties must agree to the mediation and sign a mediation agreement. This document details the expectations of each party and outlines how confidential information should be handled.
  • Second, individual meetings with the mediator take place before any joint meetings. During these meetings, each person explains their interests and goals for the divorce arrangementdiscussing anything from property division to child custodyand expresses what they feel is fair in the situation. The mediator will help guide the conversation by asking questions and making sure everyone is heard without passing judgment or taking sides.
  • Third, when both parties have had a chance to express their needs individually, they can come together in a joint meeting with the mediator present. With all three of them at the table, they can discuss solutions that meet everyone’s needs as much as possible while working through any areas of disagreement in an open dialogue format encouraged by the mediator’s presence and guidance.
  • Fourth, once parties have reached an agreement on all issues related to their divorce proceedings (including parenting plans if relevant), it then has to be drafted into a legally binding document known as a marital settlement agreement which will usually need approval from a judge—this step is best handled by experienced family law attorneys who understand state laws related to marital agreements so that it meets legal requirements for filing in court if needed or desired by either party later on down the line.
  • Lastly, during this entire process it is important that both parties stay committed to finding solutions rather than focusing on blaming one another for past issues or disagreements; doing so allows them more effectively reach mutually beneficial arrangements for their future lives apart from one another during this difficult time

Checklist: Preparation

Preparing for divorce mediation typically involves understanding the process and gathering relevant documents.

  • It is beneficial to review your financial records and develop a list of assets and debts that need to be divided.
  • Additionally, preparing a budget outlining both parties expected expenses can help ensure that the settlement agreement is fair and reasonable.
  • It is also important to consider any potential issues you may have related to child custody, visitation, or support payments. Having an idea of what you would like the outcome to look likeincluding terms such as who will make decisions regarding medical care or schoolingcan help guide the discussion during the mediation session.
  • You should also gather information about your spouses income and assets prior to entering into negotiation meetings; this data can be helpful in determining a fair division of property should an agreement not be reached at mediation.
  • If necessary, it is possible to subpoena records from employers or other sources if they are not voluntarily provided by either party.
  • Finally, avoid engaging in emotionally charged conversations with your soontobe exspouse before negotiating with them through mediation; maintaining a calm demeanor when discussing matters related to your separation helps create an environment conducive to meaningful discourse and compromise.

Checklist: Financial Disclosure Documents

Financial disclosures are critical documents. Be careful here. Do not submit incomplete or inaccurate information. Typically you will provide a statement of assets and debts, along with a statement of income and expenses. The individual items listed below are attachments to the core disclosure documents.

Remember that assets in some states may be community property, separate property, or a blend. If you’re unsure about your ownership interest, consult your independent attorney.

Consider involving a forensic accountant to establish valuations for business ownership or complex income structure issues. Do not guess asset values; require a valuation or appraisal expert. You and your spouse may hire the same expert or separate experts.

  1. This list of financial disclosure documents may be incomplete. Bring any other records your mediator requests:
  • Bank statements
  • Business interest valuations
  • College Expenses, additional tuition
  • Credit card statements
  • Executive compensations statements
  • Health insurance declarations
  • Individual investment statements
  • High-value personal property list — furniture, appliances, jewelry, watches, collectibles
  • Investment Statements
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Loan and debt information
  • Medical bills and proxies
  • Pay stubs
  • Personal loan statements, including student loans
  • Real estate valuations
  • Real property deeds
  • Retirement and pension statements
  • Tax returns
  • Vehicle valuations plus ownership and registration docs
  • W-2 or 1099 statements
  • Wills or trust documents

Checklist: Other Documents

  • Marriage license
  • Children’s birth or adoption documents
  • Prenuptial agreements
  • Previous court orders related to the marriage, for example, custody or alimony matters.

Checklist: Child Physical Custody and Parenting Time

  1. Your local jurisdiction may provide guideline parenting plans. Acquaint yourself with those guidelines.
  2. In physical custody arrangements, the parties can agree to any legal terms, from very rigid to highly flexible. Consider what you and your spouse can agree to and maintain.
  3. Negotiate which spouse will deal with children to and from school and to events. Also, where will hand-offs of the children take place?
  4. Negotiate holiday and vacation schedules: how much time is involved, which specific holidays or seasons are allowed to each parent, locational restrictions, and any other aspects of your case.

Checklist: Child Support

  1. Child support calculations often follow state guidelines. This list may not be complete; your mediator should walk you through each item that applies in your location:
  • Number of children
  • Percent parenting time for each parent
  • Tax filing status
  • Parent’s income
  • Other income
  • Health insurance costs
  • Business income deductions
  • Itemized deductions
  • Union dues
  • Mandatory government retirement
  1. Negotiate any additional child support required due to employment-related childcare costs, job training, or uninsured health care.
  2. How will bonuses, overtime, or other additional income be allocated for child support? Do such provisions apply to both parents?
  3. Who will pay for child health insurance costs?
  4. Children with special needs may incur additional costs.

Checklist: Spousal Support

Work with your independent attorney to understand how spousal support works in your location. If you don’t have an independent attorney, familiarize yourself with the law that pertains to spousal support.

  1. Determine if spousal support is appropriate and necessary.
  2. Are there any specific laws in my state that would affect the determination of spousal support?
  3. What strategies can be used to increase or decrease the amount of spousal support awarded?
  4. Is there anything I can do proactively to improve my chances of getting a favorable ruling on my request for spousal support?
  5. Are there any tax implications associated with receiving or paying out spousal support 
  6. Discuss any existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreements and their relevance to the issue of spousal support.
  7. Understand the differences between temporary and permanent spousal support, if applicable. Consider factors such as length of the marriage, income disparity, age, and spouse’s health in determining an amount for spousal support payments.
  8. Discuss how taxes will affect the payment received by one or both spouses
  9. Discuss potential penalties for failure to comply with court orders regarding spousal support payments.
  10. Some states differentiate between short and long-term marriages; familiarize yourself with how the duration of marriage affects spousal support.
  11. Will spousal support terminate on a specific date, or will it be open-ended until that spouse remarries or receives an order from a court?
  12. For additional income over base income, will there be a cap or limit on the extra income allocated to spousal support?

Checklist: Assets and Debts

  1. The settlement must clarify which spouse gets which community assets and the distribution of those assets. Similarly, debt obligations must be made clear in the settlement agreement.
  2. If you live in a community property state, document what assets are community property, separate property, or some mixed status.
  3. The mediator must know the value of assets to reach an equitable distribution. Get valuations of all community assets.
  4. Some community assets may be “encumbered,” meaning there’s a loan or mortgage. How will the associated loans be handled if one spouse receives assets in the settlement?
  5. If either or both spouses have interests in one or more businesses, especially if partners, shareholders, or members are involved, they should seek advice from a business attorney.


What is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO)?

A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) is a specialized court order that allows for dividing retirement benefits in a divorce. It is used to divide retirement assets between spouses or former spouses or to provide child support or alimony from qualified plans. The QDRO must identify the parties involved and describe in detail how the plan is to be divided. The QDRO must also meet specific Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements. The QDRO does not change any terms of the original retirement agreement; it simply outlines which portions of the plan will be allocated for each partys benefit. For example, if one spouse has an IRA and a 401(k), a QDRO would allocate specific amounts from each account to each spouse upon divorce. This ensures that both parties get their fair share of the retirement funds without having to litigate over them during divorce proceedings.

In addition to allocating assets, a QDRO can provide survivor benefits so that if one spouse dies before receiving all their allocated money, the remaining balance goes to their surviving partner or children as outlined in the order.

Furthermore, it can allow accounts to transfer taxfree between spouses and protect against creditors when dividing accounts such as IRAs and other taxadvantaged accounts. Overall, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order is an important document that helps ensure fairness in divorces involving retirement plans. It provides clear guidance on how assets should be distributed among spouses while protecting both parties’ rights and interests throughout the process.

What if I Need Spousal Support?

If you need spousal support, the first step is to discuss it with your divorce attorney. Spousal support (also known as alimony) is intended to provide financial assistance for a spouse who may have been financially dependent on their partner during the marriage. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, spousal support may be available.

Your attorney can help you evaluate whether or not you are eligible for spousal support and advise you about the possible payment amount. Eligibility depends on factors such as the length of the marriage, financial need, earning potential, and age of both spouses. Generally speaking, if one spouse has been out of work or earns significantly less than their former partner, they could be eligible for spousal support payments.

Your lawyer will also help you navigate any issues concerning the payment of spousal support. This includes how much should be paid each month, how long it should last, whether it’s temporary or permanent, and whether any adjustments should be made based on changes in circumstances (such as losing employment).

It’s important to note that even if a court awards spousal support payments, there’s no guarantee that these payments will be received – so having experienced legal representation is essential in ensuring your best interests are represented throughout this process. Your lawyer can help ensure that all agreements regarding spousal support are followed and enforced after the finalized divorce.

What Is the Cost Difference Between Mediation and Litigation?

The cost difference between mediation and litigation depends on several factors — the complexity of the case, the lawyer’s fees, and other expenses. Generally speaking, mediation is less expensive than litigation because it often takes less time to reach a resolution with a mediator. In addition, many mediators will offer an hourly rate that is lower than what lawyers charge for litigation.

With mediation, there are also no court costs or filing fees; whereas in a traditional court trial those costs can add up quickly. Another advantage of mediation is that parties can work together more collaboratively which may help reduce expenses related to discovery and preparing evidence for trial. Because settlement discussions in mediation are confidential, parties do not have to worry about spending money on public records searches or other investigative services that would likely be necessary during litigation proceedings. Negotiation through mediation allows each side an opportunity to voice their concerns and interests in a way that isn’t hostile so attorneys may spend fewer hours researching information and building cases before going into negotiations as compared to litigating a case from start to finish.

Lastly, any financial risks associated with taking a case to trial are eliminated if you settle through mediation because all agreements must be mutually acceptable before they become legally binding; therefore eliminating the chance of either side incurring hefty legal fees due to an unfavorable ruling by the judge or jury.

All in all, it is usually much more affordable to resolve disputes through mediation versus litigation, though this could vary depending on individual circumstances surrounding each particular case.

Do Mediators Deal With Child Custody Issues?

Yes, mediators handle all aspects of a divorce settlement, including child custody issues. Parents trying to avoid distressing children often agree to mediate their disagreements rather than go to court. Mediators listen carefully to both sides of the argument and encourage the parties to compromise on a parenting plan. Mediators aren’t allowed to give legal advice. Still, they can suggest ways to settle disputes and situations such as an absent parent.

Should I Hire a Local Mediator?

Hiring a local divorce mediator is a great way to achieve a successful divorce outcome. Divorce mediation allows both parties to reach an agreement without litigation and can save you time, money, and emotional energy. A local mediator will be familiar with the laws in your state, which can help you make informed decisions about issues such as property division, spousal support, and child custody.

A local mediator can also provide valuable guidance throughout the process. He or she can answer any questions about the legal process and ensure that all agreements are fair and legally binding. Since they’re located nearby, scheduling meetings with them is more manageable if needed.

In addition, working with a local mediator gives you access to resources in your community should you require additional assistance during or after your divorce proceedings. They may be able to recommend counselors or other professionals that could help make this difficult transition a bit smoother for everyone involved.

Overall, hiring a local divorce mediator is often more cost-effective than taking your case through traditional court proceedings and has the potential to provide faster resolution of disputes between couples seeking an amicable end to their relationship.

How Long Does Mediation Take?

Divorce mediation can be an excellent way for couples to avoid the time, cost, and emotional toll of going to court. The length of divorce mediation depends on several factors, including the complexity of the issues needing resolution and the cooperation level between the parties. Generally speaking, if both parties are open and willing to negotiate in good faith, they can reach an agreement within one or two sessions.

However, if complicated issues need to be resolved or if one party isn’t cooperative with the process, it may take several weeks or longer to settle all matters. It‘s also important to remember that while divorce mediation can help couples come up with creative solutions more quickly than traditional court proceedings, it typically takes at least a few months before everything is finalized. This includes completing any paperwork needed, such as separation agreements, and filing them with the court.

What Is “Mandatory Mediation”?

Mandatory mediation is a process in which both parties involved in a divorce must attend and participate in an informal, confidential negotiation. This type of mediation is typically required by the court and is often used to help couples settle their divorce cases without going to trial. The mediator acts as a neutral third party who can facilitate communication between the two sides and work toward a mutually beneficial agreement.

Mandatory mediation allows both parties to discuss the issues surrounding their divorce, such as the division of assets, debts, child custody and visitation rights, spousal support, and alimony payments. The mediation process allows for open discussion about these topics without fear of judgment or intimidation from either side. During this process, the mediator will help each party understand what’s at stake and identify potential solutions that both parties can accept or agree upon.

If successful, Mandatory Divorce Mediation can result in an agreed-upon settlement outside of court that works for both parties without having to go through litigation. Each party should have representation from a qualified divorce attorney during this process so they are fully aware of their legal rights and responsibilities throughout the negotiations.

Who Attends Mediation Sessions?

At a minimum, both spouses and the mediator attend sessions.

One or both spouses may choose a family law attorney to provide further advice. Usually, both parties must agree to the presence of an attorney, either in person or by phone. Additionally, you may involve specialists in custody issues, divorce financial professionals, or other divorce consultants.

What are the Basic Guidelines of Mediation?

The first guideline is that mediation is voluntary; you must be willing to participate. The parties are not required to reach a fair agreement, and either party can stop the mediation for any reason. The divorce settlement agreement is only binding when both parties sign it.

Secondly, unlike court litigation, mediation is confidential. All disclosures are private.

Finally, mediation is privileged, which means spouses cannot later use statements made in mediation in court.

Does a Mediator Act as a Judge?

No, a divorce mediator does not act as a judge. A divorce mediator is a neutral third party who helps both parties agree on issues related to their divorce. The mediator’s role is not to decide the case’s outcome but to facilitate communication and help both parties agree amicably. The mediator’s goal is to help the two parties work together and resolve disagreements without going through the court system. This can be beneficial for both parties since it allows them more control over the process and keeps decisions out of the hands of a judge or jury.

However, if no agreement can be reached between both parties, they can take the case before a judge or jury if they like. Divorce mediation is becoming increasingly popular as it provides divorcing couples with an alternative way to handle their divorce that is often less expensive and time-consuming than going through traditional litigation in court. While it does not replace going through court proceedings if necessary, mediation can benefit those who want to maintain control over their situation.

Should I Hire an Attorney in Addition to a Mediator?

If the parties can work together cooperatively and have already agreed on the details of their separation, then mediation may be all that is needed. However, suppose there are significant disagreements or complex issues such as asset division or custody arrangements. In that case, it may be wise to hire a divorce attorney and a mediator.

A divorce attorney can provide legal advice and help protect your rights and interests. An experienced attorney can also help you understand your options and negotiate with your spouse’s lawyer if necessary. In some cases, an attorney is also helpful for drafting documents related to the agreement reached by both parties during mediation. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney can make the process easier by providing guidance and negotiating power during mediation so you get the best possible outcome from your settlement.

If you feel that having an extra layer of protection would benefit you in this situation, consulting with an experienced lawyer is worth considering.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hiring a Mediator that is also a Licensed Attorney?

Hiring a mediator that is also a licensed attorney can be beneficial to those going through the divorce process. These advantages include having access to an impartial third party with extensive knowledge of family law and the ability to provide legal advice. This can help ensure both parties have access to sound legal counsel throughout the proceedings, possibly leading to a more equitable outcome. Additionally, attorneys are well-versed in crafting agreements and settlements tailored to meet each party’s needs.

The disadvantage of working with an attorney who doubles as a mediator is that hiring such an attorney could lead to higher costs due to additional fees associated with their dual roles as mediator and lawyer.

Overall, divorcing couples should carefully consider all options before deciding whether or not hiring an attorney-mediator is right for them. Working with someone with expertise in both areas can provide many benefits, but ultimately it must be determined what will serve each individual’s unique situation.

What if My Spouse Refuses Mediation?

Firstly, attempt some education; you might share this post or discuss mediation versus litigation. What if your spouse refuses to participate in mediation? In that case, you’ll need to hire an attorney to help litigate or otherwise resolve your issue. Ask your attorney about settling through the default process in your jurisdiction.

What if We Can’t Reach an Agreement?

If you and your spouse cannot reach a divorce mediation agreement, then one option is to proceed with traditional litigation. Litigation means that the two of you will go through a formal court process, which can be costly and time-consuming. In this situation, the outcome of your divorce will be determined by a judge instead of an agreed-upon compromise between you. Before resorting to litigation, it’s important to consider all other options. You may want to seek legal counsel from an experienced family law attorney who can help you understand the potential outcomes of each option available, as well as provide an objective view of what is best for both parties involved.

It’s also possible that another form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) may work better for you than divorce mediation did. There are several different types of ADR, including arbitration and collaborative law, that could produce better results for both parties than if they had gone to court. No matter what path you take during your divorce proceedings, it’s essential that both parties remain open-minded and accessible throughout the entire process to come to a satisfactory conclusion on all matters being discussed or decided upon.



Divorce mediation is a process that allows spouses to reach a settlement agreement without having to pay expensive legal fees or risk an unexpected result in court. The checklist contains information to help you prepare for mediation if you should hire a lawyer, how to deal with sensitive issues like finances, and how to avoid common pitfalls during the mediation process.

Use this list as a guide to help you prepare for your next mediation session, or print it out and keep it handy throughout the process. Either way, we wish you luck in reaching a fair settlement!

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