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Divorce Mediation: 10 Things to Know About Getting a Divorce Mediator

Jim Robenalt Dec. 13, 2023

Most people think that the divorce rate in America is 50%. It’s actually 40-50%, which means that if you do get married, you have more of a chance to stay married rather than get a divorce! 

However, if you do find yourself needing a peaceful divorce, you may need to find a divorce mediator to help you both through the difficult process.

Not sure what this entails? Keep reading to learn more about divorce mediation and what you know before choosing a divorce mediator!

1. Understand the Costs of Divorce Mediation

Different divorce mediators go about their fee process in different ways. That means you need to ask this question at the start of the process so you know what to expect. Even better, you should ask this question before you hire someone for your divorce mediation to ensure that it is the right decision for you based on your budget and the cost of the mediator for divorce.

For instance, some divorce mediators charge by the house which is similar to what lawyers do. However, others charge a flat fee. 

If you want to know how much you are going to be spending upfront, then the flat fee is usually the better option since it is a one-and-done fee. You never know how many hours you could spend with your divorce mediator during the process.

Typically, you will know more about the fee structure after an initial consultation with a divorce mediator. They will then quote you what the fee will be.

2. Know the Process a Mediator for Divorce Takes

A divorce mediator is there to mediate any disputes that may occur during the divorce.

This means that during the process, you have to split up some of your most important items and assets. This can be a tough time, and it may lead to some arguments or complications. The purpose of a mediator is to make that process easier for everyone.

At the beginning of most mediation processes, the mediator will give both of you a set of documents to go through as well as items and documents that have to be gathered. Once that occurs, they will give more information about what types of assets have to be divided and the decisions that have to be made.

When these decisions come to a head, the mediator will draft an agreement. This agreement is an agreement between the two of you but is not legally binding (unless the mediator is also a lawyer and can make it as such). 

Once all of this is complete, the official divorce paperwork can be signed at the court.

3. There Are Benefits to Going Through Divorce Mediators 

The biggest benefit about going through a divorce mediator is that you are able to have difficult conversations to determine the outcome of the divorce. This is not always the case during a divorce that goes through the court process. 

In that case, the court can rule how they see fit. Getting a mediator for divorce will give you much more control over the case.

4. You and Your Soon-to-be Ex-Spouse Have to Be on the Same Page During the Process 

When you think about divorce or mediation, to go through the mediation process, you both have to be on the same page. Mediation is to go through the process in a peaceful way. A mediator for divorce will help you and your spouse reach agreements that you are both content with (or at the very least, can agree to).

Going through the mediation process is not for couples that cannot have a civil conversation or talk to one another about the divorce. If there is frustration and anger between you two, it may be best to forego a mediation divorce and go straight to the courts to figure it out.

5. Everything Is Confidential 

When you go through getting a mediator for divorce, you can rest assured that everything you say, do, and discuss is confidential. This goes for both you and your spouse. You do not have to worry about any of your information getting out.

The two of you do not have to figure anything out at the courts, which can be a public hearing and process. The only moment that you have to go to court is to sign the final paperwork, and this is usually sealed by the courts as well.

Peaceful divorces are not always easy to come by, but by using a mediator for divorce, it can be much easier as everything is between the three of you.

6. Organize Your Financial Information Before You See a Mediator 

Some of the documents and information that you are going to have to gather for the mediator is information about your finances.

This financial information may take a while to go through and gather. Because of this, it may be helpful to start going through it and gathering information about your finances before you see a mediator. This can speed up the process once you go.

At the very least, you can organize your finances, documents, and paperwork. This way, when the mediator asks for something specific, you can easily find it and figure out where to go from there.

7. You Still Need an Attorney

While having a mediator is great for figuring out where your assets will go, the agreements you have to come to, and figuring out your future as separate people, you still usually need to get an attorney for divorce.

While most mediators will not allow the attorney to accompany you to the mediation meetings, the attorney will be necessary for understanding legal rights. On top of that, an attorney helps to prepare you for the final settlement and paperwork that will be done at the court.

8. Consider Your Children Before You Go 

If you have children, one of the biggest factors of your divorce will be figuring out how custody will work and what life will look like after.

There are some things you and your spouse can discuss before you find a mediator to make the process easier. For instance, you can discuss:

  • How you want to go about joint custody 

  • How health insurance will work for your kids

  • Living situations and schools

Another important thing to consider (that has to do with your kids as well) is whether you will be keeping the house or starting over with two new places. Someone will have to get a new place, so it is up to you whether you keep the old place for your children’s sake or decide to both start over.

There is no right answer, this is just something to keep in mind when deciding how to move forward during the process.

9. Go With What Feels Right

When you choose a divorce mediator, you and your spouse have to choose one that feels right for both of you. If one of you likes them and the other does not, this can cause issues down the line.

You should meet with several mediators before making a decision. This will allow both of you to have a conversation about what feels right and if you are both comfortable moving forward with one.

10. Prepare for an Emotional Process

While mediation may give you a better chance for a peaceful divorce, you still have to be aware of the fact that the entire process will be emotional. It will be hard. And you will feel drained at the end of a lot of days.

But that’s normal. It is normal to feel these emotions and let yourself feel them.

It’s also important to keep your head held high during the process to figure out the difficult logistics. You want to ensure you have a clear head (or as clear as possible) to make the right decisions for yourself and everyone involved. 

Now You Know More About Divorce Mediation 

Going through a divorce is never easy, and it’s not a fun experience either. However, it doesn’t have to be the worst experience you’ve ever had, either.

If you choose to get a divorce mediator to keep your divorce peaceful and civil, you are making a great choice. However, before you choose one, there are things to know first. 

Now that you have read this guide, you should be more familiar with the divorce mediation process and how a mediator can help you during your divorce.

If you are ready to go this route, you can contact Jim to help you go through a smooth divorce.