Mediation: Answers To Frequently Asked Questions
You may be ready to end your marriage, but you are not ready for a stressful divorce. Many people imagine divorce as a drawn-out, rancorous court battle, but it does not need to be. There are alternatives to litigation. Depending on your situation, you could benefit from mediation.
You may be unfamiliar with how mediation can be used in your divorce. Below, we answer commonly asked questions about mediation. This information is not intended as legal advice and should not be used as such.
If you have any questions about your situation, please contact The Suriano Law Firm LLC online, or call our Columbus office at 614-532-9534. Our attorney has over a decade of litigation experience, and is a trained mediator. We have the answers you need about mediation and other divorce-related questions.
How Does Mediation Work In Ohio?
During mediation, divorcing spouses work with a neutral, third-party mediator to determine the terms of their divorce. This can include items such as child custody, parenting plans, child support, spousal support and property division arrangements. You can choose which aspects of your divorce you want to resolve through mediation.
The mediator highlights interests and goals and encourages spouses to work together but does not dictate an outcome. Once spouses agree to the terms, the mediator reduces it to writing and those terms can be used to draft the final legal documents for the court. If spouses cannot come to an agreement during the process, they may not be able to use mediation as a way of reaching resolution.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Mediation In Divorce?
There are several potential benefits to using mediation in an Ohio divorce, including:
- Using a faster, more efficient process than litigation
- Having lower costs and fees
- Determining divorce terms that work for the family’s unique situation
- The mediation process is private
- Working together can cause less tension between spouses
- Discussing options with an impartial third-party
Can I Use Mediation To Create A Child Custody Plan?
Yes, you can use mediation to create a child custody and visitation arrangement in Ohio. However, both parents need to agree to the plan. If either parent is unable to agree to an arrangement in mediation, you may need to involve attorneys or a family court judge.
Do I Still Need An Attorney If I Use Mediation?
Mediators are neutral third-party participants who explain your options and help divorcing spouses uncover solutions. However, mediators cannot offer legal or financial advice. Only an attorney can provide counsel and explain what options are in your best interests.
You can have a personal attorney present at mediation sessions to help you weigh the pros and cons of the presented options. A lawyer can also provide valuable guidance before or after your mediation session, including drafting the final legal paperwork needed for court if a resolution is reached during the mediation process.
Do I Still Need To Go To Court If I Use Mediation?
Yes, the family law court will need to sign off on the plan that you created in mediation. The terms that you came up with in mediation are not binding until they are signed into effect by the court. If the judge thinks that your plan is in the best interest of the children or an equitable distribution of property, there is a good chance that they will accept your proposal without changes.
Should I Use Mediation In My Divorce?
Mediation can benefit divorcing spouses, but it is not the right solution for everyone. For mediation to work, spouses must be able to work together and be willing to compromise. Mediation is also not recommended for families with a history of abuse or domestic violence.
Our attorney, Susan, can help you evaluate your situation and determine whether you could benefit from mediation.