Mediation in divorce and family law cases is a way for the people involved to directly take part in the outcome. Otherwise, strangers who know very little about the true nature of the dispute will make decisions for those involved in the case. Mediation is a process where you have a neutral third person acting as a referee of sorts to help the parties involved see if an agreement can been reached. Any issue can be resolved in mediation, from child support and alimony to the division of marital assets. The mediator is not on anyone’s side, but uses logic, experience, and his or her knowledge of family law to help each side understand the other person’s viewpoint and what could possibly happen if the case were to go to trial.
Mediators can differ a lot in style, but in general, he or she will start with one side and explain the rules and the process to the person. The same will be done for the person on the other side. In a typical divorce case, the parties involved will be the husband and his lawyer on one side and the wife and her lawyer on the other side. Although with same sex marriages being more prevalent, variations of this scenario are possible. Some mediators will do the initial process disclosure with both parties present in the same room in order to save time. Afterwards, the parties are split, and each side will explain its position and may make an offer to the other party, or they may send an invitation to receive an offer from the other side.