What is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a voluntary process where a neutral third party (the mediator) facilitates conversations and negotiations between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, and helps you both decide on the terms of your divorce. Mediation allows couples to work through issues they need to resolve so that you can stay out of Court and end your marriage as amicably and cost effectively as possible. You and your spouse can address any issues in mediation, including but not limited to: distribution of property, child custody, child support, retirement and taxes.
Mediation usually works best when you make sure that any settlement discussions with your mediator are kept confidential. Often, a divorcing couple will sign a confidentiality agreement during the process which provides that no settlement discussions can be used in any subsequent litigation (i.e. if you and your ex-spouse ultimately end up finalizing your divorce in court or having to go to court after your divorce is completed, you cannot use your prior settlement discussions against your ex-spouse and vice versa).
A divorce mediator is a neutral party and does not represent you or your spouse. A mediator is tasked with keeping the lines of communication open between you and your spouse and assisting you both in brainstorming different ideas and scenarios to help settle the terms of your divorce.
Also, unlike the court process, mediation is a more informal, completely voluntary process where each spouse must voluntarily agree to participate. During mediation sessions, you and your spouse discuss and negotiate the pertinent issues and hopefully reach an agreement. After the sessions have been completed, the mediator can draft a list or even a written settlement agreement that sets forth the terms you both have agreed upon. A written, signed settlement agreement, and all other required forms, must then be filed with the Court in order to finalize your divorce.
Mediation is a great solution for cost-conscious divorcing couples who cannot come to an agreement on their own.
The approximate cost of divorce mediation ranges from +/-$150 per hour to +/-$300 per hour, and often parties can reach an agreement within a few sessions. On the other hand, a divorce litigated in court, with attorneys, can cost upwards of $15,000. As you can see, using a third party mediator or opting for a non-attorney online platform like it’s over easy, which is free to start, can significantly reduce the costs of a divorce. Additionally, mediation generally enables couples to finalize their divorces more quickly because they do not necessarily need to conduct lengthy discovery, adhere to the court’s timeline, attend court conferences, or appear in Court for a hearing or trial.
If you are using it’s over easy and decide that you would like the assistance of a mediator, our Provider Directory will enable you to find mediators in your area. Moreover, it’s over easy’s platform is designed to act as an online mediator. Tools such as the child support and spousal support calculator, the interactive co-parenting calendar, and the in-site chat function to discuss questions and responses with your spouse, facilitate the negotiation process without you having to leave the comfort of your home.
Whether you are using it’s over easy or a third-party mediator, opting for a neutral platform to facilitate the negotiation process can relieve a lot of the stress that comes with divorcing. it’s over easy offers tools that can aid you and your spouse in coming to an agreement yourselves, and also provides access to affordable mediation professionals, if that is what you choose!
Go to this page about online divorce to learn more.