Mediation is a process where a neutral third party, the mediator, meets with parties in conflict to help resolve the problem the parties are facing. The mediator’s job is to help the conflicting parties understand each other’s positions better. The mediator will help the parties come up with creative solutions to resolve the problem they are having. The parties can meet in the same room or stay in separate rooms.
Generally, the cost of mediation is split equally between the parties. Mediation is confidential with the following exception: Mediators are required to report any unreported abuse of a child or vulnerable persons. The mediator will not force the parties to reach any decision. The mediator will not make any decisions for the parties. Most parties are able to reach a full agreement in mediation. Parties can also reach a partial agreement and then only need to go to the court on the unresolved issues. If the parties go to court they cannot use what was disclosed in mediation against each other.
Mediation allows for creativity in ways that the law will not. In mediation, the parties can find any number of ways to solve problems, through compromise and creative thinking. If the parties have to go to court the judge will not be creative. The judge will just apply the law. Generally, if the parties go before the judge, one party will win and the other will lose. Mediation is a way for the parties to have control of the issues of their divorce.