Mediation is a popular method divorcing couples can use to sort through the terms of property division and child custody outside of court. By using a third party as a mediator, couples can make up their own agreements peacefully, instead of asking the courts to make decisions for them.
But how does a mediator keep couples who are divorcing from endless arguing? Here are just a few ways these sessions get divorcing people to agree.
A professional’s opinion
Having a professional involved is likely to help you and your ex-spouse trust their judgment. You can choose from a wide range of professionals to select your mediator.
For example, an attorney can take over this role or you could choose a child psychologist to help you and your ex-spouse work through custody matters. Likewise, if you are working through property division, you may want to use an appraiser who understands the value of your assets.
Respectfulness in public
Because of the familiarity between you and your ex-spouse, either of you may be more inclined to treat one another with less respect while you are alone together. A mediator helps introduce the aspect of a public eye on your conversations.
This can keep couples from being disrespectful, proposing unfair agreements and otherwise acting inappropriately.
An objective opinion
In addition to offering a professional opinion you can trust, couples may also be more inclined to trust a third party because they are objective.
This person shouldn’t share an emotional connection with either of you. They also won’t carry the feelings each one of you has toward each other or in connection to your children and assets. Because of this, you can trust that their opinions are honest and logical.
Time and structure
The structure of a mediation session also helps get divorcing couples to agree. Unlike a regular conversation, mediation sessions are designed to help reach a certain goal within a reasonable amount of time.
While there is some flexibility in the timing of the sessions, mediators generally try to keep the conversation focused and moving toward the specific goal of the session. This can keep couples from getting distracted or deliberating endlessly.
A lawyer by your side
It’s common practice that both you and your ex will bring a lawyer to mediation. This is an additional way that both you and your ex-spouse can feel confident about the fairness of the decisions you make together.
A skilled attorney who does not believe an agreement seems fair will be there to suggest another negotiation tactic to use. Additionally, the lawyers will work to square away the paperwork for the agreements you make so that the end of the session brings you a step closer to reaching the end of your divorce.