Divorce mediation is an alternative dispute resolution approach in which a neutral third party helps you and your spouse negotiate an agreement outside of the courtroom. In Ohio, you can go through divorce mediation at any stage of the proceeding, from before filing your petition for marriage dissolution all the way to after the court finalizes your divorce if you want to modify any aspect of your court orders. Opting for mediation offers a wide range of benefits for you, your spouse, and even any minor children you may share.
Although a judge needs to approve the agreement both parties reach, you can address the following issues during the mediation process:
- Property and assets division
- Spousal support
- Child physical and legal custody
- Child visitation
- Child support
- Any other aspect of your parenting plan
Your divorce mediator is here to facilitate communication and negotiation between you and your spouse rather than make any decision regarding your divorce. Hiring a reputable divorce attorney is always important, even in the case of out-of-court negotiations like with the mediation process. In the event that mediation fails, you and your spouse need to go to litigation.
Are There Requirements to Enter Divorce Mediation in Ohio?
Both parties must agree to enter divorce mediation, no matter at which stage you choose to use this method. You do not need to bring your lawyer with you during the mediation appointments, but you may choose to do so. However, you can simply consult your attorney between mediation sessions to ensure that the process is leading to an agreement that meets your needs and goals.
If your situation is very conflictual and you and your spouse find communicating challenging, you may want to go directly to litigation. Your lawyer may also recommend that you avoid mediation if you were the victim of domestic abuse, so you can minimize contact with your abusive spouse.
In certain cases, such as unresolved parenting issues, a judge may require that you and your spouse go through mediation to reach an agreement.
Mediation Gives You More Privacy and Control Over Your Divorce
Divorce mediation is an effective solution if you and your spouse want to keep your negotiations private and have greater control over the agreement you can reach. Even if a judge needs to approve your divorce agreement after mediation, you and your spouse can make most if not all decisions pertaining to the dissolution of your marriage.
You can also agree on addressing specific issues during mediation and let your mediator know, especially if you have already resolved certain matters before entering the process. Your mediator may also request specific information depending on what you need to negotiate. In certain cases, a mediator may recommend you consult with professional experts to help determine how to organize your finances and possibly appraise your property.
Mediation Saves Time and Money
While having an attorney is always important during a divorce, no matter how amicable the end of your marriage may be, going through mediation can save you a lot of money and provide a quicker process. Since you and your spouse collaborate with the mediator’s assistance, the legal fees associated with needing your lawyer to represent you before the court are significantly lesser.
Mediation can also help you reach a mutually acceptable agreement way more quickly than when going through long and cumbersome litigation. A divorce trial can take over a year when issues are difficult to resolve, but effective mediation can allow you to reach a satisfactory agreement and finalization of your divorce within weeks or just a few months.
Mediation Sets the Foundation for Collaborative Co-Parenting
One of the important components of mediation is how it reduces hostility between you and your spouse. This can be especially conducive to discussing parenting plans when you share minor children. In turn, it can create a strong foundation for amicable co-parenting after your divorce.
When both you and your spouse show your willingness to come together to support your child’s best interests during and after this challenging time, you model collaborative behavior. This helps alleviate stress for both you and your children in both the short and long term.
Crossman & McNamee, LLC Can Support You During the Mediation Process in Greene County
At Crossman & McNamee, LLC, our divorce and family law attorneys have a lot of experience with uncontested, contested, and even military divorces. Our priority is to protect your and your family’s rights and future. We recommend that you reach out to us early on even before filing for divorce, so we can review your situation and recommend mediation if we determine this alternative dispute resolution method can help you and your loved ones.
Even if you do not need us to attend mediation appointments with you, we can help you assess what aspects of your marriage dissolution you need to address during the process. Our team can also help draft agreements or review what you and your spouse come up with throughout the process. This helps ensure that the process is fair to you. Our lawyers can also help you polish the agreement to present to the judge for approval.
Are you considering divorce mediation in Greene County or its surrounding areas? Call Crossman & McNamee, LLC today at (937) 468-3796 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation!