In a mediated divorce, you will be sitting down with your mediator, who is a facilitator, to help you communicate with the other party and negotiate a settlement. In contrast, in a contested divorce there is no overall mutual agreement. Consequently, a judge will ultimately decide financial and parenting matters for a contested divorce. Even if your divorce starts out as a contested divorce, that doesn’t foreclose the possibility of entering into an agreement with the other party. In fact, a great majority of divorce cases do resolve themselves by agreement rather than by proceeding to trial. A trial can be lengthy and expensive whereas mediation can result in a much faster divorce at a much lower expense.
A successful mediated divorce becomes an uncontested divorce. Once an agreement is achieved, your divorce will proceed as an uncontested divorce. In an uncontested divorce, a judge will review the separation agreement entered into by the parties and if finding it to be fair and equitable and in the best interest of any children, will enter the agreement as a court order. Mediation can also be used for post-judgment modifications as well. There are times where parties would like to make a change to the terms of a divorce decree after it is issued. They may or may not agree to those changes. This is where mediation can come in and be able to assist the parties in making necessary modifications based on changes in circumstances as life evolves. Be sure that you obtain the advice of a skilled family law attorney before agreeing to a settlement or before proceeding to a trial.