What is Marital Mediation?
Marital Mediation services include: separation, divorce, parenting plans, and post-divorce issues.
Marital Mediation is a voluntary process that helps to create fair and realistic agreements about the issues effecting people when they dissolve a relationship. Mediation is an alternative service to litigation (court involvement). Milford Area Mediation Program uses trained and certified professionals to conduct marital mediation, usually in a co-mediation model. Mediators do not replace legal counsel. Mediators are neutral, open-minded parties who facilitate communication and guide negotiations. The service is provided at reduced fees (compared to other professional mediation agencies and the costs associated with hiring attorneys for court proceedings). The goal of a mediated divorce is to help the parties reach sustainable agreements on the issues the court expects to be resolved.
Mediation provides the parties control over the outcome, which generally creates greater satisfaction and an increased likelihood for implementing the final agreement. Mediation can also be a process to help preserve or improve relationships.
Benefits of Mediation
|Mediation versus Litigation|
|Motivated by parties||Motivated by attorneys|
|Direct negotiations||Separate negotiations|
|Cooperative process||Adversarial process|
|Parties decide outcome||Judge dictates outcome|
|Efficient and concise||Costly and prolonged|
How do I get an appointment for Marital Mediation?
The program manager uses the initial contact with each party to explain mediation, understand the type of service the parties are seeking, determine that each party is entering mediation voluntarily, answer any questions, and explain fees. The program manager then schedules mediation session with a certified marital mediator* at the convenience of everyone involved.
Because mediation is voluntary, both parties must contact the program
*Because Milford Area Mediation Program is a community mediation center funded primarily through grants, we encourage volunteerism and philanthropy. Interns working towards certification will be used with most marital mediation cases.
How Do Marital Mediation Sessions Work?
Mediation sessions are private and confidential. During the first session, the mediation process is explained and each person is asked for voluntary participation. Basic information about the situation is obtained from each person (individually and together). The mediator asks questions to gather information, identify goals for each party, and explore possible settlement options. Parties will be required to complete some documentation during the mediation process. Parties may bring to the mediation sessions information and documents to help to facilitate the process.
In marital mediation, the parties determine the agreement. The mediators will aid the parties with making informed choices. The agreement can address either certain aspects or all the considerations involving the dissolution of a legal relationship or parenting plan. If the parties decide to work towards agreement on all the aspects and considerations, follow up sessions may be necessary to reach final agreement that is fair, realistic, and acceptable to all parties. Agreements are then written up into a document that is typically filed with the court. Since the parties are making legal decisions, each party is encouraged to have an attorney review the mediated agreement before it is filed with the court.