Our firm helps clients reach the agreement that works best for themselves and their family. If you have any questions about divorce mediation, we can help. To set up a completely confidential consultation with a Waukesha divorce mediation lawyer, please call us at (414) 453-0800 or connect with us directly online.
Mediation is a Form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
Only a small percentage of divorces in Waukesha County are resolved through litigation. Many divorcing couples—even some with serious conflicts—are able to reach an agreement outside of court. In many cases, the best way to work towards a divorce settlement is through a structured form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation.
Mediation is collaborative and non-adversarial. Under (Wis. Stat. § 767.405(1)(a)), it is defined as “a cooperative process involving the parties and a mediator.” The core goal of mediation is to provide parties to a conflict with a low-conflict, structured atmosphere in which they can work together to resolve their issues and move forward with their life.
Six Potential Benefits of Using Mediation to Resolve a Divorce
Mediation offers a number of potential advantages for couples going through a marital separation. Some of the most notable benefits of divorce mediation in Wisconsin include:
- Save Time: Litigation can drag on. It is not uncommon for a divorce that goes to trial to take many months or even more than a year to reach a resolution. Mediation can save time.
- Save Money: It is no secret that a full divorce trial can be costly. When compared to litigation, mediation is a far more cost effective way to resolve a divorce case.
- Flexible: While mediation is structured, it is also a highly flexible process that is fundamentally controlled by the parties. Every mediation is customizable.
- Non-Adversarial: One of the most important advantages of mediation for divorce is that it is a non-adversarial process. You and your spouse can work together to resolve your issues.
- Confidentiality: What happens within the mediation process will not become part of the public record. You and your spouse can keep the terms of your divorce confidential.
- Voluntary: Mediation is a voluntary process. It is a great way for many divorcing couples to reach a settlement—but if it does not work for your divorce, you are free to leave the process at any time. You can still pursue your other legal options.
Understanding How the Divorce Mediation Process Workers
You may be wondering what you can expect from the divorce mediation process itself. Once you and your spouse agree to mediate your divorce, you will need to select a mediator and schedule a mediation session. Here are some of the key things to keep in mind about how the divorce mediation process works in Waukesha County:
- Preparation is Crucial: Mediation for divorce is a lot more effective when the parties are well-prepared. Make sure that you have all of the information that you need—property records, financial information, child-related information, etc—to negotiate a comprehensive divorce settlement.
- An Introductory Phase Comes First: On the day of the mediation itself, the process will generally begin with an introductory period. Beyond basic introductions, the mediator typically also uses this part of the process to outline the key issues that need to be resolved.
- Mediator Facilitates Divorce Settlement: Every divorce mediation is unique. In some cases, the lion’s share of the mediation process occurs with all parties and their legal counsel together in the same room. In other cases, mediation largely happens with the parties separated and the mediator going back and forth. How the process will proceed in any given divorce case depends on the specific circumstances.
If you and your spouse can reach a settlement through divorce mediation, then you will be in position to get an uncontested divorce. You can file for divorce jointly or you can submit a joint settlement to the court to get them to sign off and finalize your divorce. Wisconsin courts give divorcing couples wide discretion to reach their own agreement in mediation.
Preparing for Divorce Mediation in Waukesha County
Divorce mediation is most effective when the parties are properly prepared. Before the day of your mediation, it is crucial that you put in the time and energy to put yourself in the best possible position to reach a workable and favorable outcome for your divorce case. Some actionable tips for your divorce mediation include:
- Getting yourself into a collaborative mindset;
- Carefully organizing your financial information;
- Knowing what is important to you and where you have room to compromise; and
- Consulting with an experienced Waukesha divorce mediation attorney.
We Help Clients Navigate Divorce Mediation in Waukesha, WI
Getting a divorce is never easy. Even if you and your spouse both agree that it is the right decision, there are still many legal, financial, and logistical issues that need to be resolved. Mediation is one of the best tools for divorcing couples to resolve their issues in a non-adversarial setting. At Karp & Iancu, S.C., we have deep experience with family mediation. When you contact our Waukesha office, you will have a chance to speak to a Wisconsin divorce lawyer who can:
- Listen to your story and explain your options;
- Help you gather and organize all relevant documents and records;
- Prepare you for the divorce mediation process; and
- Represent you in mediation—with a goal of reaching a favorable settlement.