Mediation is a process where couples contemplating separation and divorce meet with a neutral, third-party facilitator to assist in resolving their family law issues. Typically, a family mediator will assist the parties in determining how to divide marital assets and marital debts, whether alimony is appropriate, and if so in what amount and for how long, and what child custody arrangement and support is in the best interests of any minor children.
Upon determining that divorce mediation is a good option for the couple, they set an initial consultation with a mediator. The mediator may want to request specific financial information from the parties to assist them at their first mediation session in advance. At the initial mediation session, the mediator will facilitate a discuss and negotiations between the parties, in the hopes of resolving all outstanding separation issues. This may take a matter of hours, and it may take the entire day. At the conclusion of the initial mediation session, parties are typically provided with an outline of what agreements have been made.
The mediator will typically memorialize these agreements into a Memorandum of Understanding or a Mediated Settlement Agreement. At the follow mediation sessions, the parties will review the separation documents with the divorce mediator, to ensure that everyone is in agreement. Following the execution of the separation documents, the parties have an enforceable contract.
To ensure that the agreements are enforceable as a matter of law, a neutral attorney may be required to memorialize the separation documents into a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement, and Consent Order for Child Custody and Child Support. This is best practice, as it ensures that not only the elements of the negotiated equitable distribution and spousal support are enforceable by breach of contract, but that the elements and agreements concerning child custody and child support are enforceable via the court’s power of contempt.
Mediation is the best process to getting resolution in separation and divorce matters. No other process is as fast, cost effective, efficient, and allows the parties to retain control of their own matters. Family Mediation LLC is located in Huntersville NC and provides divorce mediation services to couples going through the separation process. If you are interested in discussing and/or arranging a separation or divorce mediation, contact Family Mediation LLC to arrange a complimentary separation consultation.