Mediation and Divorce

Typically, if you decide to get divorced in Utah, the court will require you to participate in a mediation. Mediation can occur at nearly any point in the divorce process. But, you will be required to have participated in a mediation session before you can start scheduling a trial. Here are a number of things to keep in mind about mediation and divorce:

There Are Exceptions to the Mediation Requirement

If you can show good cause, the court may waive the mediation requirement. If there are concerns about the potential for violence at mediation, the court might waive mediation. Also, if circumstances make mediation impossible, the court might waive mediation. However, some courts are stubborn about the mediation requirement. If there is any possible way to mediate, you should go ahead and mediate.

Mediation Can Save You Money

Trials are expensive. Instead of going to trial, divorcing spouses could be dividing the money they would have spent on the trial. Or, they could be using that money to make alimony or child support payments. Admittedly, the mediation process also costs money. But, if you reach a mediated agreement, the divorce will cost a fraction compared to a trial.

Mediation Does Not Necessarily Place In the Same Room as the Other Party

Technically, mediation can involve both parties, their attorneys, and the mediator sitting around one big table. But, some mediators prefer, and any party can insist, that the parties be in separate rooms. The mediator will then go back and forth between rooms.

Attorneys Can Provide Valuable Assistance at Mediation

The mediator is there to facilitate a settlement and help explore options. The mediator has no obligation to warn you when the other party rips you off. Moreover, some mediators will not know whether the settlement agreement is legal or enforceable. An attorney can ensure that any settlement is as fair to you as it is to the other party. An attorney can also anticipate any legal or practical difficulties and ensure that your agreement avoids those difficulties. Additionally, an attorney can help you turn a settlement agreement into a divorce decree.

Peter ChristensenMediation and Divorce