If you’ve decided that you’re ready to move forward with your divorce, you might hear the term mediation come up in conversations with those closest to you. Mediation is a path that many couples choose when going through a divorce. Mediation is seen as a desirable divorce option because it promotes compromise and aims to prevent a lengthy divorce trial. With the stress and high levels of emotion that often accompany a divorce, deciding to work with a mediator can ease this pressure and help you find solutions to your separation.
It’s highly advised to work with a Rhode Island divorce lawyer that has experience with mediation. While mediation benefits a lot of couples and families, it’s not the right path for everyone. You want to work with a divorce lawyer that can guide you through the mediation process, but also provide support and legal assistance if mediation doesn’t work out. Whether your divorce calls for litigation through a trial, collaboration, or mediation, Susan T. Perkins has the skills and experience in Rhode Island divorce law and mediation to help you get to the other side of your divorce with the best possible results. Rhode Island mediation attorney Susan T. Perkins is experienced in divorce, complex property division, child custody, child support, alimony, relocation, and more.
What You Need to Know About Mediation in Rhode Island
If you’re considering a path of mediation for your divorce, it’s common to have many questions and concerns about the process. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers that can help you understand what mediation is and how it works in Rhode Island.
What is mediation?
Mediation is the legal process of discussing the terms and conditions of a divorce without a judge or a trial. The divorcing couple will work with a mediator to work out their differences, discuss conflicts and disputes, and attempt to find common ground in order to move forward. People will often choose mediation because they want to avoid litigation through a trial. If you’re considering a divorce and you’d like to hear more about how mediation works in Rhode Island, contact our law office today.
Why is it better to work with a divorce mediator?
Everyone knows that it can be difficult to find common ground through a divorce. Friends and family members will often take sides and it can be hard to find an objective perspective. This is the key reason why it’s beneficial to work with a divorce mediator. A divorce mediator is a legal professional that does not represent one party or the other. In fact, in order for mediation to really work, the mediator needs to be a neutral third party that has no connections or associations with either spouse.
Working with a mediator can help a divorcing couple reach an agreement because they’re able to approach your separation without judgment or preconceived notions about what should happen after your divorce. They can look at your circumstances with fresh, unbiased eyes and see a path to compromise that would be difficult to visualize without their guidance. A mediator doesn’t only offer a clear perspective, but they’re also trained to settle disputes, navigate conflicts, and help both parties collaborate and compromise so they can reach an agreement. To learn more about what a mediator does and how they can help you through your divorce, call our law firm for more information.
What are the benefits of mediation?
There are many benefits of divorce mediation. Most people choose mediation as their first option because it’s the most desirable path to divorce. As we often say at our law firm, if you’re more interested in being divorced than getting divorced, mediation is the right path for you. Here are some of the benefits of mediation:
- Mediation is more economical. Mediation can lead to faster compromises, which means you’ll be spending less time in your divorce lawyer’s office, allowing you to save more money in the long run. It’s no surprise that messy divorce trials can be incredibly expensive. One of the goals of mediation is to avoid costly litigation.
- Mediation can lead to quicker settlements. If you’re hoping to avoid a long, messy divorce with the possibility of going to trial, mediation can help. Those who choose mediation often agree to the terms and conditions of their divorce and reach a settlement a lot quicker than those who choose not to participate in mediation.
- Mediation is often more predictable and collaborative than a trial. Throughout the mediation process, the parties aim to avoid surprises, provide as much information as possible, and collaborate until a settlement is reached. This is the exact opposite of what occurs at a divorce trial. Spouses will try to paint each other into a corner and you can never really predict what will happen, even if you’re completely prepared. In mediation, the goal is to avoid stressful situations and work together.
- Mediation is less hostile. The main purpose of mediation is to work through conflicts in the most positive way possible. Arguing, fighting, name-calling, and other hostile forms of communication are not encouraged in mediation.
- Mediation includes comprehensive agreements that are more likely to lead to compliance on both sides. Because both parties feel as though they’ve contributed something to the divorce proceedings, and they had a sense of control over what happens in mediation, they’re less likely to stray from the original agreement and more likely to comply with the terms of the divorce settlement.
To learn more about the many benefits of divorce mediation, speak with a Rhode Island mediation lawyer at our law firm. We can help you decide if mediation is the right path for you.
How do I prepare for divorce mediation?
It can be helpful to take a few steps to prepare for divorce mediation. This can help set the stage, make you feel more organized, and emotionally prepare you for what’s to come. First, it’s important to gather all of the important documents you might need. Financial records, deeds, loan information, social security, lease agreements, and other paperwork that involves dealings that took place during your marriage will be helpful to have on hand.
Next, make a list of expectations and priorities. Before going into a mediation session, it will be helpful to reflect on the areas in which you’re willing to compromise and the areas that you’re not willing to compromise. For instance, when it comes to child support and child custody, many parents will go into mediation knowing what they’re willing to be flexible on to make the collaborations more successful. Lastly, an important component of the mediation experience is commitment. Without a commitment to reach a compromise, mediation is less likely to work out. To learn more tips on how to prepare for divorce mediation, contact the law firm of Susan T. Perkins today.
Should I file for divorce before mediation?
It’s not necessary to file for divorce before mediation. In fact, your mediation divorce lawyer can help with the filing process even if you’ve already committed to mediation. You can also choose mediation, even if you’ve already filed for divorce. If you’re unsure on how to schedule a mediation or properly file for divorce, contact our law office as soon as possible. You don’t have to go through the process alone. We can help you understand your filing paperwork, set you up with a mediator, and move your divorce process along smoothly.
Does the mediator meet with both spouses together or separately?
This will depend on your circumstances. Mediation can take place with the spouses meeting together, also referred to as a “joint mediation meeting” or separately, also referred to as a “private caucus”. In some situations, couples may have a willingness to compromise, but a difficult time communicating. This may call for private, separate meetings with the mediator. If there’s a willingness to compromise and an open line of communication, attending the mediation sessions together may be more valuable. If you’re considering mediation, but you’re unsure if you and your spouse should be meeting together, contact our law firm to discuss your options with a divorce lawyer.
How is divorce mediation different from arbitration?
Divorce arbitration is very different from divorce mediation. Mediation is the act of working with a mediator to settle differences, find compromises, and agree on a settlement. Divorce arbitration is much more like a divorce trial but in a private setting. When couples can’t agree to the terms and conditions of their divorce, their next step may be divorce arbitration. An arbitrator works like a judge in the sense that they have the final say in the divorce settlement, since the couple could not agree to the terms of their divorce on their own. If you’ve been working with a mediator and you don’t believe that mediation is working, your next step may be arbitration.
Contact the Law Office of Susan T. Perkins
The mediation process can help many couples reach a settlement faster, more effectively, and in a positive way. If you believe you’re ready to begin the mediation process, or if you’d like to learn more about how mediation can help you, reach out to our law firm today to schedule a free consultation to speak with a Rhode Island divorce mediation lawyer.