Pre-decree divorce mediation is an attempt to encourage the couple into working out reasonable compromises about their financial settlement and custody arrangements. Post divorce mediation is also designed to encourage compromise, but focuses mainly on the parental responsibilities of the parties, and is intended to maximize the potential for healthy emotional development of the children.
As adults, our life situations are always changing. Parents generally make divorce agreements based on their lives at the moment of the divorce decree, taking into account: where they live, work schedules, their lifestyles, the age of their children, etc.
As your children grow older, the fact is that their needs will change. Parents often get caught up in focusing on who is right and who is wrong. This often makes it very difficult for parents to work through their concerns together.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING A POST-DECREE DIVORCE MEDIATION?
Mediation sessions are informal but structured discussions guided by the mediator. Both parties are given the opportunity to speak without interruption, describing their view of the current issues for possible modification. The mediator structures the discussions to help clarify the issues and move toward an agreement.
WHAT TYPES OF ISSUES CAN BE ADDRESSED DURING POST-DECREE MEDIATION?
Issues that are important to the parties can be addressed, including
- Time Schedules with Children
- Parenting Issues
- Spousal Support
- Child Support
- Financial Issues
The custody arrangement may award primary physical custody to one parent, with visitation for the other parent, or it may divide physical custody between the parents. Shared physical custody assumes that each parent will take responsibility for major developmental tasks during child development, including academic performance, moral education, life planning and health maintenance. Post divorce parental mediation is designed to assist parents in achieving this goal.
Changes in circumstances may cause a party to request a modification of a Final Judgment of Dissolution. Mediation is appropriate for addressing these changes that occur relative to child custody and visitation, child support, and/or spousal support.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO MEDIATION?
The parties should bring a copy of any existing orders, Final Judgment, and the Memorandum of Understanding (if the divorce was mediated). During the first meeting the mediator will work with the parties to determine what information will be needed for further sessions, such as personal income and expenses.
WILL THE MEDIATORS PREPARE DOCUMENTS?
Yes. At C.E.L. and Associates, we will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding for your legal counsel. We cannot provide legal advice. The mediator may prepare a bullet point list of issues agreed in mediation which the attorney can enter with the court as part of an agreed order or the parties can take to court on their own.