A neutral divorce mediator will meet with the parties, explore the issues to be resolved and discuss options for resolution. The mediator helps the parties to gather information, negotiate a settlement and drafts the settlement agreement. The mediator cannot act as an advocate for either party or offer legal advice, so each party is encouraged to retain their own lawyer to advise them, as needed. Mediation is more structured than the “kitchen table” method but gives parties similar control over the timing of the legal process and the terms of the settlement agreement.
Divorce mediation is appropriate not only in divorce proceedings, but also in a variety of family law matters.
The Role of an Independent Attorney
Divorce mediators are not acting as attorneys, and will not give legal advice. Each party in the mediation is advised to seek independent legal advice during the mediation process. Attorneys may, but generally do not attend the mediation sessions. The independent attorneys are also responsible for submitting the final settlement documents to the court, once an agreement is reached.