What are the basic steps of divorce mediation? When faced with a legal dispute, or in this case a divorce proceeding, the parties do not automatically have to go to court over their issues. There is another route that they may choose to take, which is known as Alternative Dispute Resolution. Alternative Dispute Resolution offers the parties an opportunity to resolve their issues without resorting to litigation, and it encompasses arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. Divorces typically deal with mediation. Mediation allows the parties to a divorce to work with a neutral third-party that is trained to help them try to reach an agreement on all of the terms within their marital settlement agreement in a Jefferson County uncontested divorce. These terms tend to include things like alimony and child support.
To pursue the basic steps of divorce mediation, the two parties have to both agree to attend mediation with the mindset of resolving their issues. If one of the parties is unwilling to negotiate, then mediation may not be best. Once both parties agree to attempt negotiation, the parties and their attorneys will separately meet with the mediator. It is very important that the mediator is unbiased and trained to be a mediator. At this first meeting, each party and their Birmingham divorce attorneys will explain what terms need to be settled and what they are willing to compromise in order to reach a settlement. By explaining what their end goal is, the mediator is able to strategize how to get the parties as close to their goals as possible. Then, the parties are able to meet with the mediator who will go back and forth between the two parties on each issue. The parties can meet with the mediator as many times as they want, which allows them to wait, if they choose, until emotions settle.
If the two parties are able to negotiate the terms to where they are both satisfied with the results, then they may enter those negotiated terms into their marital settlement agreement. Once the parties have a complete agreement, one of the parties can file a Divorce Petition and their settlement agreement with the Circuit Court. Then, with it being an uncontested divorce in Shelby County or anywhere else in Alabama, the Circuit Court judge can enter a divorce decree and make their divorce final. However, the judge will have to wait at least 30 days before issuing the divorce decree. If the parties still cannot agree on their terms even with the help of a mediator, then they will have to file a Divorce Petition, which will proceed in the Circuit Court.
Divorces can be very expensive especially if the divorce is contested between the two parties because it could take the parties months or years to finalize their divorce. Because of this, it is highly recommended that the parties attempt to reach an agreement to where the divorce would be uncontested. If there are only a few terms that the parties disagree on, then they should consider mediation with an experienced divorce attorney in Huntsville, or wherever they live, before pursuing a contested divorce because it may help them resolve their issues and reach an agreement. If the parties can do this, then they will be saving themselves time, money, and stress by avoiding a complex contested divorce.
Attorney Steven A. Harris regularly blogs in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, and real estate closings on this website. He is always available in any of the firm’s offices or by phone anytime for a consultation. Mr. Harris tries to provide informative information to the public in easily digestible formats. Hopefully you enjoyed this article and feel free to supply any feedback. We appreciate our readers and love to hear from you!