Divorce may be very distressing due of the emotional, legal, and practical ramifications. If you are contemplating divorce, one of the first choices you should examine is divorce mediation. Maryland divorce mediation is a private and time-limited procedure that permits divorcing spouses to meet with a mediator (neutral third party) who assists them in determining property distribution, spousal support, child support, and parenting obligations. Mediation might be imposed by the court or selected voluntarily by the spouses.
Separate mediation enables couples to divorce amicably since it is less stressful, expensive, and adversarial than divorce litigation. Mediation seeks to establish an agreement on contentious matters while giving the parties power over the parameters of the agreement via concessions proposed by the mediator. Litigation delegated decision-making to a judge, who made independent conclusions on contested topics. The main benefits of mediation over aggressive litigation are that it may be utilised throughout the divorce process or for post-divorce conflicts, it is low cost, and it encourages positive dispute resolution.
Continue reading to discover more about the phases of divorce mediation in Maryland.
Stage 1: Introduction
This step of the divorce mediation procedure includes the court appointing a mediator (for court-ordered mediation) or the divorcing parties appointing a mediator (for voluntary mediation). The mediator may or may not be a licenced attorney. You have the option of going into mediation with or without a lawyer representing your interests.
Following the meeting of the parties, the mediator will outline the process and answer any questions or concerns that the parties may have. The mediator’s goal is to resolve the disagreements. They are unbiased and will not provide advice to any of the parties. It is not the mediator’s responsibility to guarantee that you obtain the greatest possible bargain. The introduction stage is used by each side to discuss their difficulty and offer solutions. This stage is used by the divorce parties to determine where they agree and disagree. This helps in establishing a beginning point and directing the mediation’s agenda.
Stage of Information Gathering
Mediation, like divorce litigation, requires parties to put forth and verify all of the facts they state. The mediator finds grounds of contention and examines financial documents (including retirement funds, bank accounts, and savings bonds), real estate/asset records, and any records pertaining to children. Parties are required to reveal all relevant information in order to demonstrate cooperation and good faith discussion.
Mediation cannot commence unless both parties have turned in all relevant documents to resolve the issue. Parties have the option of hiring third parties, such as attorneys or private detectives, to assist them in gathering the material needed to make or establish their case. As you would in a court of law, be sure to provide proof for all of the facts you state.
Stage of Negotiation
After identifying the problems that need to be resolved, the mediator will begin talks for a reasonable solution. The only way to achieve a final agreement is for both sides to make concessions and compromises. Your mediator will assist you in exploring all alternatives and narrowing them down to those that are beneficial to both parties.
Mediation is a continual dialogue in which the parties may evaluate the efficiency of interim solutions before arriving on a permanent agreement. If you are unhappy with any of the conditions provided during the bargaining process, you should talk with a divorce lawyer about the proposed mediation agreement.
Stage of Consensus
Your mediator will mould your requirements and interests and assist you in reaching an agreement that addresses the most significant interests of each party. When the parties achieve an agreement, the mediator may or may not create a contract outlining all of the agreed-upon provisions. The mediator will steer you away from the myriad divorce-related interests and toward the key conflicts. They want to achieve an agreement that both sides can live with and keep in the long run.
If your mediator creates an agreement for you to sign, you must first contact with an experienced divorce lawyer.
Stage of signing and filing
The divorcing parties will be required to sign a preliminary draught of the agreement after hammering out all the specifics and achieving a mutual agreement. After an examination by a certified divorce lawyer, the written agreement is finished and signed. If there are no complaints or difficulties with the document, the agreement is submitted in court as part of an uncontested divorce.
Professional divorce mediation is the greatest alternative for couples contemplating divorce since it is quicker, less expensive, kinder, and more predictable than litigation.