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Taking Control of Your Divorce Through Mediator in Ohio

By Jim Robenalt

Divorce. It is a painful thing for both spouses to go through. At this point, both spouses would likely prefer to do whatever they can to move on with their lives in one piece. 

The prospect of divorce has become less common in recent years, but it is still out there. Annually, the divorce rate in the United States is 2.3 for every 1,000 people

If you are going through a divorce in the Ohio area, perhaps you should consider seeing a divorce mediator. 

How can divorce mediation in Ohio help you? What do you need to know about mediation before you start? 

This is your guide. 

What Is Divorce Mediation? 

Divorce mediation is something that can couples can go through before or after they finalize a divorce. It is a less formal process than settling matters in a courtroom. 

Essentially, couples have the option to discuss terms on things such as finances, debt, child custody, assets, and more. They would do all of this while speaking to a third party mediator. 

A mediator does not have the authority to make any legal decisions for a married couple. However, what they can do is hold a neutral voice in a room that may be a little tense. They can also help lead a civil conversation with both partners and help guide them to a civil resolution rather than delaying this process any further. 

The goal of a mediator is to provide two opposing sides with a neutral third party on whom they can bounce ideas off. A mediator can also help diffuse tension between the two sides, and they can discuss terms with each other peacefully and respectfully. 

Mandatory Mediation 

There is one issue in Ohio that requires a couple getting divorced to go through mediation. This issue is when there are minor children involved. 

The state of Ohio cares for the well-being of children in these situations, so the law requires the parents of those children to sit down with a mediator and come to a resolution. Some counties will even provide a mediator for you in this situation. 

Remember that just because you have to see a mediator in this situation does not mean that you have to bring everything up. The law does not require that you speak to a mediator about finances, debt, and assets. 

The main thing that you have to focus on in this situation is the logistics of the child. Things that will come up here will include which parent the child is going to live with, what will the custody schedule be, what school they are going to go to, how much child support one spouse has to pay, and more. 

Couples will have to go through mediation for this if they fail to come up with an arrangement on their own. Courts will frown upon letting this issue linger with young children involved because they typically encourage the child to have as stable an environment as possible in this situation. 

So, if you are about to get a divorce with children, this should be one of the first issues you should be prepared to go to mediation for. 

Other Mediation Matters 

Besides child support and child custody, there are other things that you can attempt to mediate with your spouse. The first thing is if there is going to be alimony involved. 

Alimony is not something that is given out with every divorce, but it can happen depending on the life circumstances of a married couple. An example can be either one partner having practically unattainable financial success. Or, it can just be both partners are old enough that it can be too late for another one who stayed home with the kids to catch up financially. 

This can be a heated issue that can be met with some resistance from both sides. However, a mediator can help try to diffuse this and get both partners to meet in the middle. 

Another thing couples may want to be mediated is any debt remaining in the marriage. This can be from a mortgage, credit card debt, or even student loan debt. 

Now, a mediator may say to you that if you brought debt into the marriage (like student loan debt), then you have to take it with you. However, a mediator can help negotiate other debt that falls more into a gray area. 

Time to Go to Mediation 

There are three different times during the divorce process when you will have an opportunity to go to mediation. 

The first time is before you even file for divorce. This is called the dissolution of marriage stage. 

If you want to have the fastest and cleanest divorce possible, this is when you should go to mediation. The reason why is that if you do this at this stage, you will only have to show up to court once between 30-90 days after you come to this agreement. 

Then, you just have to get this agreement verified by a judge. The judge will then approve it as long as they think it is fair to both sides and to any potential children that you have. 

The second time you can go to mediation is when you file for divorce. While this time may not be as much of an amicable divorce as during the first stage, it can still benefit you to do this at this time. 

A big reason why you want to do mediation now before it goes any further is that if you cannot agree on your big issues during mediation, your divorce could go to trial. We will get to those cons below. 

The last time you can go to mediation is after your divorce is finalized. You would go at this stage if you feel like you need to make adjustments to your agreement such as spousal support or if you need to make a change in your child custody or child support agreement. 

Motivation for Mediation 

So, what is the biggest motivation to settle your matters in mediation? Well, there are two big benefits of divorce mediation for you. 

The first is the time that you save. Let’s face it when you get a divorce; you want to put that chapter of your life behind you. 

Every time you have to make an appearance with your ex-partner and every time you have a past manner come up, it does not allow you to move on and heal from this unfortunate result. Settling matters in mediation allow you to get one step closer to being at peace with the process. 

The second big benefit for you is the money that you can save by settling manners here. If you can manage to get everything solved during mediation, that means that you only have to spend a few hundred dollars on a mediator. 

However, if both parties have to hire divorce lawyers and your case goes to trial, things can start getting costly. When you reach that stage, it can cost at least $7,000 per spouse

So, if neither of you wants to be hurt financially after your divorce is settled, it is in your best interest to settle your matters at mediation. 

When Mediation Is Not Ideal 

As many benefits as divorce mediation can provide you, there is one circumstance where you should stay clear of this option. This circumstance is when one party is the victim of domestic violence. 

When you go to a mediator, both sides should feel free and open to speak their mind in front of the other spouse. However, if one partner is suffering from domestic violence, they may fear the consequences of speaking out. This can even be the case in a place that is supposed to be a safe and neutral space, like seeing a mediator. 

If you find yourself in this situation, then you must get the right legal representation and the right protection for yourself. You can let the courts handle it from here, and you should try to keep your distance from this spouse. 

Find Divorce Mediation in Ohio 

These are some of the biggest things that you need to know about divorce mediation in Ohio. 

There are times when you have to do it, such as when child custody and child support are involved. Plus, there are times when it benefits you to do it to avoid trial and extra fees. However, just remember that in cases like domestic violence, a mediator is not always the answer. 

Do you want a mediator for your divorce? Message us with your case details today. 

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