Family and divorce mediation is the process that assists a couple in working together to make decisions needed to get a divorce and, if appropriate, establish a parenting plan or parenting agreement for the future needs of their child(ren). A mediator assisting a couple in negotiating a family matter or divorce will usually have a background in law, counseling, or a similar discipline.
The mediator’s role is to get both parties in conflict to take a careful look at the issues, options for resolution, and work together to construct an agreement that is fair to both parties and makes sense for the parties and child(ren). An agreement must be worked out between the parties and approved by a court before a divorce can be granted. If a couple cannot work out an agreement on their own or with a mediator, the court will be forced to decide for the couple.
The mediator will help a couple to structure a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU will address numerous issues that the parties agree make sense in the mediation process, and will specifically cover property distribution, parenting plans, and financial matters. A copy of the MOU will be provided to each party and each party’s attorney. In most cases, the MOU will be able to be incorporated into the legal filings for the divorce, or be adapted with only minor changes by the parties’ attorneys.