Mediation can be an effective means of settling disputes in a divorce. Unfortunately, some people never consider mediation due to preconceived notions and misinformation about the process. Here are some of the most common myths and the truth about mediation.
Lawyers Are Not Needed
Even though the divorcing couple works with a mediator to negotiate and settle disputes, lawyers are still needed. Lawyers perform a number of tasks including explaining the legal rights of each party and helping to create solutions to problems.
Once an agreement is reached, the lawyers can prepare the documentation that needs to be filed with the family court. If a settlement is not reached during mediation, the lawyers can jump in to take over the case and already be up to speed on what is going on with it.
The Mediator Makes All Decisions
One of the most common misconceptions about mediation is that the mediator makes decisions for both sides. In truth, the mediator does not have the legal power to settle disputes. His or her role is to help divorcing spouses learn to negotiate with one another.
If both parties do not agree on issues, the mediator can encourage both parties to reach a middle ground. If none is reached, the case goes to the family court and the lawyers to work out.
Every Issue Has to Be Decided
Some couples going into mediation thinking that every issue has to be settled or none of the decisions stand. This is not true. If a divorcing couple is only able to reach a decision on half of the issues, there is only a need to move forward through the court system with the other half.
For instance, if you and your spouse agree to who gets the home and car in divorce, but cannot reach a decision on recreational vehicles, the court can make the final determination on the RVs for you.
Both spouses also have the right to decide to throw out every decision that was made and start fresh in the family court. It is basically up to the spouses to decide.
Mediation is about reaching an amicable end to a marriage. By working together to resolve issues, a divorcing couple can not only avoid a lot of stress and grief, they can save money on the entire process. Your family lawyer can work with you to help ensure that mediation goes smoothly and that your rights are respected.
You can learn more about mediation by contacting groups such as Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service Inc.