There’s more than one way to finalize your divorce, with mediation one of the best. This gives you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse full control over the process, thus allowing you to negotiate and compromise based on your specific circumstances.

Knowing what to expect during divorce mediation puts you in an even better position, as you can prepare accordingly. Here’s a basic overview of how the process will play out:

  • Meet with the mediator: You and your spouse will meet with the mediator to discuss the issues that require resolution. This can include but is not limited to things such as property and debt division, child custody, child support and spousal support. This is your chance to share your feelings on what you want to accomplish, so don’t be afraid to speak your mind.
  • Partake in future sessions: This is when you get down to business on the issues at hand. The mediator will oversee all discussions, but they don’t have the same power as a family law judge. They can’t make decisions on behalf of either party. What they can do is keep the conversation on track, suggest alternative resolutions and help explain how the legal system works.
  • Draft an agreement: If you’re able to find middle ground on all issues, the mediator can draft an agreement for approval by the court. It’s important that you carefully review it before signing, as you don’t want to agree to something that doesn’t suit you.

What about the help of an attorney?

Many people assume that mediation means you’re on your own. That’s not the case. You still have the ability to consult with a family law attorney. This person can answer your questions, explain your legal rights and ensure that you don’t do anything that puts your future at risk.

Knowing what to expect during divorce mediation allows you to prepare accordingly. And when you do that, you can feel good about your ability to work through your differences.

Mediation doesn’t work for everyone who’s faced with divorce, but it’s worth learning more about the process and how it can help.