Explaining the Divorce Mediation Process in Minnesota

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If you’re considering the services of a divorce mediator in Minnesota for your divorce then you’re in good company. Mediation works well in about 75% of all divorce cases, and the divorce mediation process can leave you with a settlement that you can live with – one that you had a direct hand in creating.

However, it’s hard to make an informed decision when divorce mediation is a mystery to you. What will happen? How do you know you’ll get a fair deal? If your spouse is domineering, how do you know you won’t be at a disadvantage?

Issues of Divorce

Mediators are trained to handle all of the issues that might be present in your divorce, including child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and liabilities.


Divorce


Make sure you come to your mediation prepared with any and all documents and records which might have a bearing on these issues.

The Mediator’s Role

The mediator is there for several reasons. At BGS, your mediator has a law degree, but is not serving as a lawyer to either party. The mediator is not a judge and cannot force you into any decision.

Instead, the mediator is there to keep the communication between you and your ex respectful and open. If one spouse starts to bully the other in the discussion the mediator has techniques that he or she can use to get things back on track.

The mediator makes sure that both you and your spouse get the chance to outline your concerns and needs. He or she will then reframe those concerns in a way that make it easier for both spouses to swallow.

Of course, mediation works best when you strive to be respectful yourself.

The mediator does more than facilitate communication however. He or she also gathers and provides the information you will both need to come up with creative, informed, and reasonable options for your new life apart.

The Process Itself

Every mediation case is a little different, but will almost always go through the following four stages (regardless of how many sessions it takes to get through these stages).

  • Identifying issues. The mediator will meet with you and your spouse together to outline issues and concerns. Often, the parties’ attorneys participate also. At times, the mediator may have a separate meeting with each of you, called a “caucus,” where you can say what you need to say without your spouse’s scrutiny.
  • Gathering information
  • Negotiation
  • Agreement

The negotiation phase may seem the most challenging. Remember, however, that the goal is to arrive at a Win-Win situation that both you and your spouse can live with.

Mediation is a Confidential Process

What is said and offered in mediation remains confidential unless the parties reach agreement and a signed agreement results. The court will be told that mediation was conducted, but unless agreement was reached, all discussions, offers and negotiations remain confidential and inadmissible in court.

Experience Helps

If you are going through a divorce it’s important to choose an experienced mediator, one who is familiar with both the legal and emotional issues of divorce. At BGS all of our mediators are trained attorneys. Call us today!

About Elizabeth A. Schading

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