Divorce Mediation FAQs
In Michigan, there is more than one way to get a divorce. Mediation is an option that allows the divorcing couple to have the final say on what settlement they will receive. Mediation is typically much less expensive than going through litigation, as well. While mediation is a good option for most people going through a divorce, it is still a largely misunderstood process. If you are going through a divorce, below are a few of the most frequently asked questions about mediation, and the answers you need.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and cooperative process that allows a divorcing couple to come to an agreement regarding the terms of their divorce. A mediator is present at all mediation sessions and helps foster compromise between both parties. Due to the fact that mediation puts the couple in control of the final terms of the divorce, it is typically less combative than litigation, which can help people who will have to co-parent in the future.
Does Michigan Have a Mediation Requirement?
Some states require that divorcing couples attempt mediation before they enter litigation. Michigan does not make mediation mandatory. Still, family law judges in the state have the authority to order a divorcing couple to undergo mediation before going to trial. In some cases, mediation is simply not appropriate for a divorce case, such as when there is a history of domestic violence.
When is Mediation Appropriate?
Couples can enter mediation at any time during the divorce process. The earlier a couple enters mediation, the more likely it is to work. When a couple can resolve their issues quickly during mediation, it can save them from contentious arguments and a long and costly process in the end.
How Does a Couple Start Mediation?
Anyone considering mediation for their divorce should speak to a Grand Rapids divorce lawyer. An attorney can help couples find a mediator, provide the information necessary before mediation begins, and represent them throughout the entire process.
Do I Still Have to Go to Court if My Case is Settled During Mediation?
Mediation has many benefits, but one of the biggest is that it can help divorcing couples avoid the courtroom. Of course, if a case is not settled during mediation, the case will likely go to trial. However, couples will still have to appear in court even if their case is settled. The settlement agreement is only final after a judge approves it and so, at least one court appearance is usually necessary after a settlement is reached during mediation.
Do I Need a Michigan Divorce Lawyer for Mediation?
You are not required to enter mediation with a Grand Rapids divorce lawyer, but it is highly advised that you do. Throughout mediation, an attorney will protect your best interests and negotiate effectively with the other side to help you secure the fair settlement you deserve. If you are considering mediation for your divorce, call our experienced attorneys at Van Den Heuvel Law Office. We will help you throughout the mediation process and, if necessary, represent you during trial. Call us today to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys.