Divorce can be a turbulent period in anyone’s life, especially when facing different emotions and uncertainties that make it difficult to think clearly about your next move. All of this is even more complicated when children are involved, or the two parting individuals are engaged in heated disputes. Fortunately, divorce in Albemarle, NC doesn’t always have to be the battlefield it gets a reputation for. Taking the avenue of divorce mediation gives couples looking to split a more harmonious and collaborative opportunity to resolve their differences. The process can be even more successful when guided by legal counsel.
The most significant attribute of divorce mediation is the neutral, third-party supervisor known as the mediator. This is a professional trained to facilitate communication between both spouses and doesn’t have any personal agenda of their own other than helping to end the marriage amicably. The mediator will give both individuals the space to have their own voices heard without interruption, which for some couples may be the first time they’ve been forced to listen and digest what the other partner is saying. Once everyone’s perspectives are on the table, the mediator will help each spouse negotiate where needed to guide toward a final agreement. A mediator is trained to help resolve all of the common divorce-related topics, such as child support, child custody, property division, and more.
If you want to enter your mediation experience as prepared as possible, there are certain activities you can do prior to mediation to increase the value you will get from your sessions.
There is no universal cost to help one understand exactly how much they will have to pay for a mediator. Variables such as how long the individual has been in practice, where they work, and how many sessions will be required to reach a solution all play a factor in the final price. It’s common for mediators to charge for their services hourly. $100-$400 on average is an appropriate range to expect. The only certainty with mediation is that it will cost less than a lengthy trial that racks up court fees.
There isn’t a blanket mandate for all divorcing couples to attempt mediation before moving to trial. However, some cases will qualify for a mandated mediation. For example, if there are significant disputes over child custody or a visitation schedule, the court will often require both parents to try and reach a solution privately in mediation to give parents more control over the outcome of their children and to protect a child’s exposure to any divorce publicity. However, mediation is not required in cases like domestic violence, where it would not be appropriate to have an alleged abuser negotiate with their victim.
While mediation offers a ton of benefits, some couples may find the opportunity isn’t going to work for them. First, it requires both individuals’ cooperation. If one of the spouses enters the session trying to be manipulative or purposefully uncooperative, the effectiveness of the opportunity is diminished. Also, any scenario where there is a power imbalance between one party and another could disadvantage the less-empowered individual. It may make them agree to terms they don’t actually agree with but feel the pressure from the other party to cooperate.
A single mediation session can last anywhere from 1-3 hours. The total number of sessions that will need to occur before a solution is reached is to be determined by each couple. Many couples can wrap up their sessions from anywhere between a few weeks to a few months. Once several months pass, it’s common for the individuals to agree there are still contentious issues that need to be dealt with in court.
If you are going through a divorce and need an established Albemarle, NC, divorce attorney on your side, contact Aimee E. Cain today. For years, we have valued the sanctity of divorce mediation and believe it is one of the most powerful tools a couple can leverage to move on from one another amicably. Contact us today and see why others have trusted us to deal with their delicate divorce issues.