What About Online Divorce Mediation?

Some mediators will only meet with spouses together (in a joint session), others only separately (in a caucus), and some combine both. Mediators who are experienced assess the needs of spouses and adjust to an environment which is beneficial.

The general consensus in divorce and family mediating is that spouses should try to work together as much as they can, so as to reach more thoughtful agreements based on their interests. In general, trained mediators use joint sessions more often than retired judges or career lawyers divorce mediation who also mediate.

Mediation or arbitration are conducted without a judge. The neutral mediator has no decision-making power in mediation. It is the mediator’s responsibility to help couples communicate, find common ground, and reach an agreement by identifying issues, explaining law and helping them to understand each other. The mediator helps to facilitate agreements.

Arbitration is similar to court proceedings in that the arbitrator listens to all the details and decides on the outcome. An arbitrator can be compared to a private judge that the spouses select in order to resolve their issues. The spouses may present their evidence or make arguments in arbitration. However, the decision of the arbitrator is the only one that matters.

Normaly, only the wives attend. Sometimes, the attorneys of each spouse attend. It’s not a good idea to invite family members, close friends, co-workers, or neighbors. Rarely, a third party may be allowed to attend mediation depending on the circumstances.

The mediator does not care who pays. The cost of mediation is often divided evenly between spouses. Sometimes, costs are divided according to incomes. Sometimes one spouse will pay for the mediation, particularly when one spouse earns more than the other.

The mediator will determine the outcome of the divorce mediation. The mediator helps spouses to understand the issues that need to be resolved in divorce. The mediator will help spouses understand each issue that needs to be addressed in divorce.

A mediator helps the spouses come up with creative solutions that meet both their needs and wants, so they can resolve all of their issues without having to fight or have a judge decide for them. A successful mediation should feel like an open conversation between the spouses, led by their mediator. This will keep conflict low and give spouses guidance.

Mediation usually involves both spouses, the mediator and a large round table. The mediator and the needs of both spouses may dictate that part or the entire mediation takes place in separate rooms. All issues are resolved and agreements reached.

If there has been a pattern or history of abuse against children and/or domestic violence, then mediation is not appropriate unless specific safeguards have been put in place. Even in severe cases, mediation may still not be the best option. Mediation is based on the principle that both spouses have the right to freely enter into agreements. The ability to freely enter into agreements is compromised by intimidation and fear of one’s own safety. Never force a spouse to make an agreement.

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