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The Deal with Mediation

Contrary to popular belief, divorce cases don't always have to be contentious—even when the divorcing couple hasn't reached an exhaustive and fair agreement on their own terms. In many such cases with unresolved issues, there’s still an enduring desire among divorcing couples to arrive at a compromise without having to appear before the court, making mediation a viable solution. 

In the world of divorce cases, mediation in divorce is all about finding ways to peacefully resolve any complex issues and disputes. Whether you’re sold on the mediation process or still weighing your options, our tenured team of family law attorneys can help you find the right path forward so you can launch your new, independent life with conviction.


What is a Mediated Agreement?

A mediated agreement is a problem-solving process that empowers spouses to craft their own marriage-ending agreement in collaboration with a neutral mediator. On the spectrum of divorce cases, evaluative mediation falls somewhere between a potentially antagonistic court case and a collaborative divorce. Fittingly, then, any information disclosed during the process of mediation is private and cannot be used against either party in family court if the conflict isn’t resolved during the mediation process. 

Mediation is a great option for divorcing couples who have almost entirely completed a written agreement about how to proceed with the divorce case apart from a few lingering questions or concerns. For example, a divorcing couple who knows precisely how to handle the division of their assets in a collaborative process but simply cannot agree on who gets to keep the family pet could benefit from working with a qualified mediator. Conversely, the process of mediation is also a viable path for those who face significant disagreements but would prefer to avoid going to family court nonetheless.


Causes of Disagreement in the Mediation Process

Unfortunately, conflict and disagreement are often part of the mediation process—even when the parties are open to finding a resolution. The most common subject of disagreement in mediation is the interests and needs of the parties. The parties may have different ideas of what is fair or reasonable, or they may disagree about what is necessary to resolve the conflict. They may also disagree about how to approach the mediation process, or how to resolve specific issues. Another common source of disagreement in mediation is power dynamics between the parties. 

Mediation is a process of negotiation, and the parties may feel that one or both of them have too much power or control over the outcome. This can lead to heated arguments, as each party tries to assert its own interests. A third source of disagreement in mediation in divorce is the lack of trust between the parties. In some cases, one or both parties may have deep-seated feelings of mistrust or resentment that prevent them from effectively communicating their interests and needs. This can make it difficult to reach a resolution, as the parties are unable to trust each other enough to accept a compromise.

The Role of a Mediation Attorney

A qualified mediator is a trained neutral party hired to help settle any persistent problems among divorcing couples, not to be confused with your own personal family law attorney. Unlike a family law lawyer focused on preserving your rights, a mediator works in service of mutual resolution instead of advocating for the interests of one spouse specifically. In fact, a divorce mediator in Maryland is prohibited from representing either spouse individually since the process hinges on the qualified mediator’s neutrality rather than their allegiance to either spouse. 

A skilled mediator is there to keep the divorcing couple focused on their goals while presenting any information that’s instrumental in reaching a resolution. Your family law mediator should also help introduce conflict resolution for old problems, arm you with basic legal facts (but not legal advice), and draft a written agreement as desired by the divorcing couple. 

Even though the mediation process is led by a neutral party, it’s still important for both members of a divorcing couple to seek legal representation from a qualified family law attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure the mediator’s decision is made with your best interests in mind.

Is Working With a Mediation Attorney the Answer for Me?

The choice between mediation versus divorce in family court is delicate and deeply personal. The reality is, even the most amicable relationship can become strenuous during the divorce process, particularly when finances or children are implicated. However, if you’re determined to take a collaborative approach to your divorce case that meets the needs of everyone involved, mediation in divorce might be the right path for you since it allows spouses to craft a settlement agreement tailored exclusively to their distinct demands.

We’re Already Going to Trial, so Why Should I Care About Mediation?

So—you and your spouse are dead-set on going to trial through the court system, or you tried mediation and it didn’t work. Even in divorce cases like this, you can still benefit by partnering with a divorce attorney who’s also a trained and qualified mediator. Why? By trade, mediators are skilled negotiators with an eye for detail and a steadfast focus on reaching a mutually-beneficial marital settlement agreement. They’ve built a career on anticipating human behaviors, meaning in a court case, they can predict how the other side might respond before the court hearing even begins. This anticipatory insight gives us an edge in litigation, allowing our legal team of divorce attorneys to build proactive, personalized strategies that strengthen your case and maximize your chances of reaching a beneficial settlement agreement through the collaborative divorce process.

Finding the Right Mediation Attorney for You

As you navigate your divorce process, our trusted legal team of divorce attorneys can help you make rational, well-guided decisions to transform your tumultuous divorce into a collaborative divorce. After all, when it comes to writing your new happily ever after, the importance of finding strategic and compassionate counsel focused solely on family law cannot be understated. By combining our vast legal experience, our tenured family law team of qualified mediators can design a tailored strategy to help you take back your power, cultivate a favorable mediation in divorce, and build the new beginning you deserve.

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