During a divorce, it might seem like you and your ex will never be able to agree on anything again. While it can be difficult for you to have a conversation with your former spouse on your own, many people find that the presence of a neutral third party facilitates reasonable discussions.
Most people seeking a divorce in Maryland will be required to attend mediation with their former spouse at least once. If you are divorcing or separating from your spouse, a Maryland mediation lawyer can help you negotiate your position effectively. Enlist the help of a dedicated divorce attorney for legal advice on what to expect from this type of litigation.
What is Mediation?
Judges in a divorce or family law case frequently order the parties to attend mediation. A mediation is a discussion process where both parties attempt to work out a resolution to their issues with the help of a trained and neutral third party. The mediator may be an attorney or could be a retired judge or other professional trained in mediation techniques.
The mediator cannot give advice or recommendations to either party. They do not act on either party’s behalf, and they cannot try and sway either person in a specific direction. The mediator’s role is to ease discussions and help both parties come to a mutual decision.
After mediation, the mediator may draft and finalize the parties’ agreement. Neither party should sign an agreement drafted by a mediator without the advice and counsel of his or her own attorney. This could have devastating effects on their future. Any agreement signed by both parties is legally binding once the parties sign it and will be submitted to the court for approval. If the parties cannot reach an agreement during mediation, they can either litigate their issues in court or schedule a subsequent mediation and continue working toward their goals. The parties should hire their own attorney’s to assist them in finalizing the agreement.
How Mediation Works
Mediation can resolve most issues in a divorce or family law case. The parties can decide how they will distribute their marital property, their child custody and visitation arrangements, and the amount of money that each person will owe for alimony or child support.
Discussions between two people with a contentious romantic history can get off track quickly. A mediator will help the parties stay on task rather than distracted by bickering or by opening up old emotional wounds. Mediation provides an opportunity for the parties to work out their differences on neutral ground in a way that works best for them.
Each person in a mediation can bring their own attorney to help negotiate for them. Since the mediator cannot prevent either party from making a bad decision, the parties’ lawyers will help protect their interests. Parties to a mediation do not have to come to an agreement, and they will not be forced to agree to a resolution that they do not want.
The Benefits of Mediation in Maryland Divorces
Though many divorcing couples are skeptical that mediation could work for them, people who use mediation are generally more satisfied with the outcome of their divorce than people who do not. When parties cannot agree to the terms of their divorce through mediation, a judge will make the final decisions on behalf of the parties.
Often, judges do not split up property or arrange custody decisions like the parties would themselves. Many divorcing couples would prefer to work out the majority of their issues without having their choices made for them by the judge.
Mediation is also more private than litigation. Family law issues that are decided in open court are public knowledge. People who want to keep their family life and finances private usually opt to settle their divorce in mediation.
How a Maryland Mediation Attorney Can Help
Mediation can help you resolve your family law case quickly and efficiently with fewer costs that traditional litigation. If you want to maintain control over the outcome of your divorce and decide for yourself about issues like child custody or alimony, contact a Maryland mediation lawyer and find out more about your options. Make sure you have legal counsel to protect your rights during mediation. For help with facilitating an amicable dissolution, reach out to a diligent attorney today.