Remember the four questions regarding your friend’s traditional legal system divorce? In a mediated settlement the answers could be Yes, Yes, participant and yes.
-Did you feel honored and respected throughout the legal process?
Mediation utilizes discussion, listening, understanding and cooperation to negotiate a mutually acceptable decision or agreement. Sometimes the mediator is a referee, reminding the parties that fighting and old conversations will not help create a settlement. Honestly, many clients choose to work with a therapist after their personal issues have been teased apart and unwoven from the divorce agreement.
-Do you believe the legal process heaped you establish a “working relationship” with your ex for the years ahead?
Mediation provides a forum in which people in separation and divorce matters work proactively to create a workable and sustainable agreement. In almost all divorces the individuals still interact in the future. Mediation gives them the ability to sit together at graduation or attend the ex’s father funeral because they have not created additional issues, resentments and anger in the divorce wrangling of traditional legal system divorces.
-Did you feel you were a participant in your divorce process or did you feel more like an observer hoping for a favorable outcome?
Mediation is a voluntary process. Parties select mediation because simply stated their marriage is over and must be resolved and settled. They must divide their property, determine custody and parenting issue- if they have children- and plan a path to navigate their future interactions.
Every mediation case is different. Some couples use a mediator exclusively and file their own court papers, some use a mediator to create the settlement and then hire an attorney to file; some have been consulting with their attorney through out the process. There is no right or wrong way to mediate. You are in control of the process.
-Do you feel your legal representation was a “good value” and good return on your investment of time, trust and money?
Mediation is usually less costly and also usually a faster process than traditional legal representation and litigation. Mediation can work simultaneously with the legal system if parties already have attorney representation. Often clients will decide their own settlements in mediation and after the mediation process, and then they will have attorneys review the settlement. Those couples literally do the “homework” first, write the paper and only then do their turn in their “homework” for review.
Mediation clients might add “I really felt honored and respected during my divorce. The process made me feel as though my healing and journey to my new and different life had begun. I believe I had an active role in determining my life's path. I was able to conserve my assets by limiting my legal fees and I can use my savings as I chart my new path.”
Sheila-Marie Untiedt A qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota General Rules of Practice, Sheila-Marie Untied is a mediator helping individuals to resolve conflicts in the areas of divorce, child custody, family conflict, workplace conflict, and business conflict.
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