Common Divorce Mediation Questions

Common Divorce Mediation Questions

Mediation is an excellent way for solving conventional legal disputes and can be a lot less costly, faster and more pleasing process than litigation. Not many individuals are familiar with the mediation process, nevertheless, and most individuals are questioning if mediation is right for them. Below are some of the most general answers to mediation questions.

Can my case be mediated?

Usually, only civil cases are able to be mediated. The common exception is that specific non-violent criminal issues, like harassment, typically allow mediation. Common civil cases that are mediated include divorces, and business, landlord-tenant, small claims, child custody and contract disputes.

One of the main reasons people choose mediation over general litigation is when you are worried about maintaining an important relationship with the individual you have a dispute with. Mediation is more collaborative and cooperative, so it is a wise choice for disputes involving co-parents, business partners, or next-door neighbors.

Is there a case where I shouldn’t think about mediation?

Even when your case can be mediated, you should always question if it is the best option given your objectives and circumstance.

Some reasons to not mediate may comprise of:

  • You feel certain that the others involved needs to have to admit or be found guilty. Mediation will usually not involve any type of guilty admission; alternatively, it is organized more like a concession.
  • You want to convey a “message” or establish a legal example. Results from mediation aren’t binding on others involved, so even when you mediate a victorious outcome from a large company, it is going to have no effect on future cases towards that company.
  • You assume a jury would be highly sympathetic and award you a considerable verdict. Mediation is a concession, and because of this, it tends to rule out highly large settlements that juries can oftentimes award.

Does mediation require a lawyer?

Mediation doesn’t necessitate a lawyer; actually, part of its benefit is the lack of a lawyer and the associated legal fees. On the other hand, you may want to hire a lawyer as a consultant to provide advice throughout mediation in which is substantially more inexpensive than hiring a lawyer to take your case to court. Additionally, a lawyer should typically be consulted to discuss the outcome of the mediation and any settlement.

How long does mediation generally take?

Usually, a lot of mediation cases only last a couple of days. This is partly due to mediation being less cumbersome than going to court, but also since people that usually take smaller cases to mediation and save other, large, convoluted claims for the courtroom. Larger business and divorce/custody might last considerably longer – possibly weeks – but this is still a lot faster than conventional litigation.

What does a mediation process usually look like?

Whereas there is no official mediation process, usually it is going to follow the below steps:

  • The mediator is going to introduce themselves and make some opening discussion concerning the rules and objectives of mediation.
  • Each party is given the chance to describe the dispute as they view it without interruption from the other party.
  • Subject to the mediator and those involved, the mediator may then initiate a mutual discussion with both parties present and might engage each party separately, going from party to party, working out each of their matters.
  • Following the discussion of the issues with those involved, a mediator is going to usually bring both parties together to jointly to come to a solution.
  • When the negotiation is a success, the mediator is going to put the agreement in writing, recommend they consult with a lawyer, and ask them to sign awaiting their lawyer’s approval.
  • Should the negotiation be unsuccessful, the mediator is going to typically summarize the issues those involved in, did agree on, and advise them of their rights progressing.

Is mediation just?

Mediation aims for a fair compromise. Both sides freely discuss issues and aren’t bound unless they agree to the settlement. They’re not bound by a judge or jury, only by what they find fair.

How can I find a good, reliable mediator?

Choosing the right mediator depends on the nature of the dispute. Many mediators specialize in specific areas. For instance, in a localized issue with a neighbor, a community mediation institution is ideal. For complex business disputes, national firms like JAMS or the American Arbitration Association may be more suitable. In divorce-related conflicts, opt for a mediator with expertise in divorce matters, ideally located nearby.

Is it different than arbitration?

Mediation and arbitration share similarities, but a key distinction exists. In mediation, decisions require both parties’ consent, unlike arbitration, where the arbitrator, acting like a judge, can decide without approval. Due to higher risks, arbitration often mirrors a court process with formalities like witness testimony and evidence submission.

This approach is prevalent in significant business and consumer dealings. Consumers, as part of agreements, opt for arbitration over court. Some view this favorably, but others argue it favors businesses and is unfair.


  1. Common mediation questions. Findlaw. (2016, June 21). Retrieved July 11, 2022, from

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