Mediation is an opportunity in family law cases for both parties to meet with a neutral third-party, typically a very experienced family law attorney, and present your case as if you were at trial. Experienced family law attorneys have participated in many mediations, dealing with a wide variety of issues. By working with the right family law attorney, who will help you select the best mediator for your divorce, you stand the greatest chance of a settlement with a positive financial and legal outcome.
Getting your divorce settled with a positive outcome is very important. For one, if you and your spouse are able to settle your divorce without going to trial, you will have control over the outcome of your divorce. In mediation, the parties must agree in order for a settlement to be reached. Alternatively, if you do not reach an agreement in mediation, the family law judge over your case will decide all unresolved issues.
When you and your experienced Oklahoma divorce attorney present your case to a mediator, you will receive a forecast of what may happen if your case proceeds to trial. Insight into a contested divorce trial is one of the greatest benefits of mediation. The following are four important considerations in divorce mediation:
4 Considerations for Divorce Mediation
1. Systematized Discussions
Divorce mediation typically proceeds in a very organized fashion with the mediator taking equal time to hear and respond to both sides of your divorce. Divorce mediation typically begins with the mediator speaking to both sides separately about the process for mediation. Next, the mediator will take a substantial amount of time to meet with one party and their divorce attorney to try to understand that party’s position on the issues in divorce. After the first in depth meeting with one side, the mediator will meet with the other party and their divorce attorney.
The mediator will expect you and/or your divorce attorney to be prepared to speak in depth about your finances, your assets, your debts, and your goals for every issue in your divorce. You and your divorce attorney should prepare a marital balance sheet that details all relevant financial information for you and your spouse, along with a proposal for what you want in your case on every issue. The divorce mediator should not allow you to disparage your spouse or them to speak poorly about you. Mediation is not the court of public opinion and you are paying for the valuable time of the divorce mediator, as well as your divorce attorney to discuss the key issues in your divorce, not why you are divorcing your spouse.
2. Professional Guidance
Mediation is an intelligent negotiation between the parties through the guidance and experience of the divorce mediator. Throughout the course of your divorce mediation you will receive guidance from your divorce attorney as well as the mediator on what the law and rules of court dictate on different issues in your case, as well as what may or may not happen on individual issues, if you have a divorce trial.
Divorce mediators with experience in divorce litigation will advise you on best case, worst case, and likely outcomes on the contested issues in your divorce. You will be better prepared to negotiate your divorce and reach a resolution at mediation, if you have an in-depth discussion with your divorce lawyer on all issues in your case prior to mediation. Knowledge is power in your divorce and with the legal guidance of your chosen divorce lawyer and the mediator, you will be able to decide between rolling the dice in a divorce trial or reaching a settlement.
3. Experienced Divorce Attorney Mediator
You made a wise investment in hiring the right divorce lawyer for your case. Now, hiring the most experienced mediator on the issues in your divorce is a smart investment as well. The internet is a great tool for research, but it is also plagued with false advertisements for the “best divorce mediators” and the “best divorce lawyers.” The old adage, you get what you pay for, is true in divorce litigation. Unfortunately, anyone can claim they are a divorce mediator. Therefore, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced divorce attorney or divorce law firm that will recommend the right divorce mediator for you and the issues in your case.
Some divorce mediators are highly skilled in resolving financial issues, others are better at child custody, and only a few are great for all issues. Issues as important as your divorce and the future of your children and your finances are too important to work with a cheap lawyer. Experience matters in divorce mediation, work with your divorce attorney to select the best mediator for your divorce.
4. Unbiased Experienced Opinion
Your chosen divorce attorney will ensure the mediator working on your divorce case is fair in their approach to your case. An experienced and fair divorce mediator will have no preconceived notions, other than experience in court, with the following issues: child custody, legal custody, child visitation, child support, alimony, division of property, division of debts, retirement accounts, and much more.
You should express your concerns to your divorce attorney, if you fear the mediator in your divorce is biased against you. He or she may not be biased, but be providing you an honest and unbiased opinion on what is likely to happen in court, if you have a divorce trial.
High net worth divorce cases or higher-earning spouses often assume that divorce mediation is an avenue to maximize recovery in the divorce. However, this is not the case. You will save a lot of money and heartache by resolving your divorce at mediation, in lieu of the uncertainty of a divorce trial. However, do not expect that the divorce mediator in your case will side unfairly in your favor. The unbiased or neutral opinion of an experienced divorce mediator is invaluable to assist you in reaching a positive and expedited resolution of your divorce. Speak to your chosen divorce lawyer about mediation and the benefits it may provide you in your specific divorce case.
Your Fierce Advocatesô in Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is a great tool, in many divorces, but not all divorce cases, to obtain a clear idea of what may happen in a divorce trial on the issues in your case. Additionally, in many contested divorce cases, mediating your divorce results in settlement of the case without trial. This article is a brief overview of divorce mediation; however, many more factors should be considered in participating in divorce mediation or foregoing the opportunity.
Read our other divorce resources and view our YouTube videos on divorce for additional information. The following video is brief, but specifically addressed divorce mediation.
Contact Your Fierce Advocatesô for Clients facing Oklahoma Divorce
Divorce is a stressful process; however, you can reduce your stress by ensuring the divorce attorneys you work with have experience representing clients facing issues similar to your own issues in divorce. Cannon & Associates has the legal experience in contested divorce cases to help you achieve the best possible outcome in your divorce, whether it is through mediation or not.
Contact Cannon & Associates by completing the CONTACT FORM ON THIS PAGE NOW or CALL at 405-657-2323 for a free confidential strategy session and answers to your questions about high-net worth divorce.