Family law mediation can be a little confusing. Is it between your lawyers? Who “mediates” between you and your ex? Does it help, and does it save you money?
Here’s what you need to know about family law mediation and why your Milwaukee divorce lawyer might recommend it.
What is Family Law Mediation?
Family law mediation is a process that divorcing couples sometimes use to reach agreements that they can’t reach otherwise. It involves the two parties and a trained mediator – someone who knows how to work past the emotions in divorce and reach the issues. It’s non-adversarial, which means you’re not battling each other. Instead, you’re working together through an impartial third party who only wants the best for both of you.
How Does Family Law Mediation Work?
You and your ex will go to a neutral place – most likely the mediator’s office. Sometimes both people are in the same room, but sometimes they’re separated; it all depends on the nature of your relationship.
Your mediator will explain the ground rules to you and you’ll likely sign an agreement. Everything you say in mediation is confidential.
The mediator will guide your discussion and start tackling issues that you two can’t agree on. You’ll each have an opportunity to speak your mind, explain the outcome you want, and propose your solution. The mediator will begin negotiating between you. It could go something like this.
You: I want full custody of the kids and for him to visit them on Wednesdays and every other weekend.
Him: I want to share custody of the kids and to have more visitation than Wednesdays and every other weekend.
Mediator: What about every weekend?
The negotiations will continue with each of you being able to explain why you want what you want – and most couples are able to effectively reach settlements within one session. Sometimes more sessions are necessary, but either way, the bottom line is that you’re reaching agreements outside the courtroom. (If you were to battle these issues out in court, it would cost you far more in legal fees and you’d have to wait to get on the court’s calendar. Even worse, the judge could rule against you and you could walk away feeling like you’d lost.)
Your Milwaukee divorce attorney might suggest that you try mediation – it’s an extremely effective way to get divorcing couples on the same page.
Do You Need to Talk to a Divorce Lawyer?
If you’re thinking about divorce, it’s time to talk to an attorney. Call us at 414-383-6700 for a free divorce case evaluation – we’ll give you the advice you need to start moving forward.