Next Page Mediation

Understanding the Cleveland Divorce Mediation Process

By Jim Robenalt

Understanding the Cleveland Divorce Mediation Process

Studies have shown that nearly 90% of divorce cases have a mediation that can settle successfully. In these cases, two-thirds of couples that mediated felt satisfied with the outcome of the mediation process. 

However, to improve the odds of a successful settlement, you need to learn more about the divorce mediation process and how it works. While mediation is still a structured process, it is not as involved as a divorce trial.

Do you want to learn more about mediation for divorce and what you can expect from your mediation with your partner? 

Keep reading this guide for everything you need to know to understand the Cleveland divorce mediation process. 

Before Mediation

Before you can start the mediation process, there are a few steps you need to take. This will ensure that you are on the same page as your lawyer, mediator, and partner. It will also help you prepare for mediation and make it more likely for you to reach an agreeable settlement. 

Here are some of the first steps you should take before mediation. 

Select a Mediator

First, you need to select a mediator to work with. This will ensure that you have an unbiased representative to facilitate the conversation between you and your partner. When you choose a mediator, you need to ensure that they have the proper training and credentials so they can provide you with the best services. 

Gather Important Documents

You will need easy access to different documents during your mediation. These include tax documents, proof of income, insurance information, account balances, and the valuation of other assets you and your partner shared in your marriage. 

This information is necessary if you want to come to a fair arrangement with your partner during your divorce. 

Before you start the mediation process, you should gather all of these documents and share them with your mediator. 

Discuss the Background

If you have not met your mediator before, you also need to discuss the background information about your case before you start the mediation process. 

This will give them all the information they need about your marriage, family situation, and more. Make sure you discuss all the divorce-related issues, so your mediator understands what needs to be resolved during your sessions. 

Make it clear which issues you and your spouse agree on and which issues you still need to work out. This can include anything from the division of property and assets to child custody and spousal support. 

Initiate Mediation

Once you are prepared to start the mediation process, you must initiate mediation with your spouse. You and your lawyer may need to file a Request for Mediation to begin the process. If your mediation was court-ordered, this might already be done. 

During Mediation

During the mediation process, you will meet with your partner and attorney in person or on a video call. 

Often, mediators will meet with both parties at once. Otherwise, you may have separate rooms or meetings to allow each party to discuss the issues privately with the mediator. 

Here is what you can expect during the mediation process. 

Introduction of the Mediation Process

Before you start the mediation process, your mediator will introduce the divorce mediation process. This way, you and your partner will know what to expect during the mediation. 

This introduction will allow you to go over additional background information about your marriage, talk about the procedures you will go through during the day, and will let you ask any other questions you have about the process. 

It will also allow you to review the ground rules for the mediation process, keeping your mediation civil and amicable. 

Explain Your Perspectives 

As you start discussing the issues that you and your spouse are dealing with, your mediator will allow you to explain your perspectives. This makes it easy for you to frame the problems that you are having so you can outline your needs and desired outcomes. 

Explaining your perspective will allow the mediator to understand your goals for the mediation and make it more likely that you will reach a settlement that meets your and your spouse’s needs. 

Because this step of mediation allows you and your spouse to express your needs, interests, and goals, you will likely find areas where your goals overlap with your partner’s. This makes reaching a settlement and negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement even easier. 

The framing stage of mediation can be done separately or jointly, depending on your preferences or the preferences of your mediator.

Negotiate

As you and your partner discuss these issues with your mediator, you will begin to come up with potential solutions for the problems. You need to do your best to find solutions that work for you and your partner, as this will increase the likelihood of settling fairly. 

Then, you can begin to negotiate. This allows you to continue brainstorming and evaluating your options. 

It is essential to understand that both sides must make compromises and concessions. This way, you can find settlement options that meet your spouse’s most critical and crucial needs. 

Negotiating will ensure that both you and your partner meet in the middle. When you are negotiating, make sure you are open to compromise and are willing to understand your partner’s point of view!

Draft a Settlement

After your mediation, your mediator and attorneys will work with you and your partner to create a marital settlement agreement. While this is not a binding settlement, it will be given to the judge when you finalize your divorce and incorporated into your divorce decree. 

This will ensure that it is legally binding. 

Make sure you carefully read through and review this agreement before you sign it, as it will allow you to avoid an uncontested divorce. This will save you money on legal fees and can make your divorce a much simpler process. 

If you have any issues with how this agreement was drafted, you can submit your reviews and continue the negotiation process until the agreement meets your needs. 

After Mediation

After mediation, you may or may not have reached a successful agreement. You will need to take a few steps after mediation to ensure your marriage is successfully ended. 

Here is what you can expect to happen after your divorce mediation. 

Reach a Settlement or Impasse

First, you and your partner will either reach a settlement or an impasse. If you can successfully resolve your dispute and reach an agreement, this is a settlement, and an impasse occurs if you cannot reach an agreement. 

You and your partner may need to start the mediation process or take your dispute to court if there is an impasse. 

File Divorce Paperwork

Next, you can file the divorce paperwork with your courts. Sometimes, your mediator will file this for you, so make sure you ask them whether this service is provided in their mediation services. 

When you file your divorce paperwork after mediation, it is much more likely that your divorce will be uncontested by your spouse. When there are no issues with property division, custody, or other typical mediation issues, the court can review the settlement and finalize it much more quickly

Enforce the Decree

Finally, you can enforce the court decree once you have finished mediation and filed your divorce paperwork. 

This marks the legal end of your marriage and has the terms of your divorce. This includes visitation rights, spousal support, division of property, and more. The terms of the divorce decree bind you and your ex-spouse, so you can both enforce it after the mediation and divorce process are complete. 

Learn More About the Cleveland Divorce Mediation Process Today

Divorce is one of the most stressful life events you can go through. Although mediation can make the divorce process much more straightforward, you should still learn more about the process so you can be prepared for mediation in your divorce cases. 

If you need help with the Cleveland divorce mediation process, Next Page Mediation can help! We offer divorce mediation services across the United States and can help you and your partner make an amicable arrangement for the end of your marriage. 

Contact our team today to learn more about the divorce mediation process!

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