What the Heck Is…What the Heck is Mediation??

I know many of us who are going through a divorce or have already gone through a divorce have been hit with a lot we may not understand.  We may not understand the jargon used in the legal system, we may be new to online dating, and the list goes on and on.  With this in mind, I thought I would start a series called “What the Heck is…”.  Here I will give a brief description of what may be an unknown term, action, or event.  Keep in mind that I am not an expert, but this is what I know based on my experience and what I have found in the literature online.

What the Heck is Mediation?

Mediation is a means to come to an agreement with the help of a neutral third party.  It is a guided conversation to help settle a legal dispute. The third party is called the mediator. The mediator’s goal is to help the parties come to a resolution.  The mediator does not decide the outcome.

The parties at odds work with the mediator, typically with the help of their attorneys.  The mediator oversees the exchange of information from both parties and helps the parties bargain to hopefully get to a common ground they can agree on.

Mediation is typically less expansive and less formal than litigation.  In mediation, you are responsible for your attornies fees and half of the mediator fees.

An added note.  Every state has different laws, so I am sure mediation laws vary from state to state.  

My experience…

Yes, my ex and I did go to mediation.  My attorney was with me, and I was allowed to bring someone for support.  We met for the mediation at my attorney’s office.  I was in one room with my attorney, and my friend and my ex were in another room with his attorney.  The mediator, who was a lawyer, went from room to room to share information and discuss possible outcomes.  This was an all-day exhausting event.  We started early in the morning and went into the early evening.  

My suggestions are based on my experience…

*Bring a supportive friend.

*Request not to be in a room with your ex.  My attorney made sure we did not come in contact when entering the office, leaving the office, and during the mediation process.

*Be strong; don’t be worn down.  If I could go back, I would have fought harder.  As the hours ticked on, I became more fatigued. I think I gave in due to my emotional exhaustion.  The advice that I would give to myself is, “don’t give in when you know you are right…fight!”

I hope this helps you better understand the term mediation.

God Bless You on Your Journey!