When our clients are going through a divorce or dissolution and the topic of mediation comes up, they often have several questions about the concept and the process as it is applied to divorce proceedings. In the blog below, Dawes Legal, LLC, answers some of the questions we frequently hear about mediating divorces.
What does “mediation” mean Under Ohio Law?
“Mediation” refers to a process wherein the opposing parties of a case meet informally with a neutral person called a mediator. In a divorce, the opposing parties are the spouses who want to dissolve their marriage. The meeting takes place outside of a courtroom and is designed to help the parties come to an agreement that satisfies everyone.
How does the mediation process work in a divorce in Ohio?
Spouses can use mediation during their divorce proceedings or before any court proceedings have been initiated. Mediation can be a tool for resolving all points of conflict during a divorce or for resolving a few matters upon which the spouses have not been able to immediately agree. The spouses can request mediation, or the court might order mediation in the spouses’ case.
During mediation, the spouses will arrive at a meeting location and talk to a mediator they have selected. This mediator is not a judge and cannot make orders in the case. He or she is merely present to help the parties understand their issues and guide them toward a resolution. The process might take one session or might take several sessions.
Each mediator will have his or her own style for approaching the mediation. Often, the session will begin with the spouses meeting together while the mediator describes the process and sets expectations for the session. The mediator might also give out some rules for the session to avoid unnecessary arguments. The spouses might then remain in the same room or go to separate rooms. Many mediators favor separate rooms, so the spouses can be completely candid about their bottom lines and about areas where they might be willing to give. In this model, the mediator meets separately with each spouse throughout the day, working toward a middle ground.
How can mediation help me during my divorce in Ohio?
Mediation is an informal process that helps many couples understand the root of their issues and realize opportunities for compromise inside a relaxed environment. The process can result in a satisfactory agreement to bring to the court. But even if mediation does not end in an agreement, it can help spouses gain meaningful insight into how far they have come and how far they have left to go in their divorce.
If you are beginning the process of a divorce, contact an experienced divorce attorney to assist you throughout the proceedings. Attorney Shannon Dawes can help you understand your options for divorce and mediation in the state of Ohio. Contact Dawes Legal, LLC, at (614) 733-9999 to schedule your consultation today.