Ending a marriage essentially requires filing a lawsuit. However, following the traditional litigation path is not always necessary when it comes to working out a divorce’s terms.

Divorce mediation in Minnesota is an alternative process to litigation that involves using a neutral third party to facilitate the dispute resolution. The divorce mediator promotes voluntary agreement between the two spouses so that they can finalize the divorce as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How does divorce mediation work?

Mediation, an alternative dispute resolution process, usually starts with a general meeting, where the mediator, you and your future ex-spouse will discuss the process’s ground rules. An important rule is that you cannot disclose any information addressed during mediation unless you and the other party agree on this.

Then, the mediator will walk you through the mediation process, and you and your future ex can make your opening statements to clarify perceptions and identify issues. The mediator is willing to separate you and your ex if your emotions are running high as well, as this may help to keep the mediation process going even during an acrimonious split-up.

What should be my goal during divorce mediation?

These are the major goals of divorce mediation:

  • Minimizing hostility and controversy following divorce
  • Avoiding the trauma and expense that usually accompany going into a divorce trial
  • Creating a divorce agreement that is mutually satisfactory, equitable and legally sound

You can achieve all of these goals with the assistance of an impartial divorce mediator, who will facilitate communication between you and your spouse. The mediator’s aim is to promote understanding and help you to engage in innovative problem solving so that you can arrive at an agreement that considers your own interests as well as the other party’s — all without further court intrusion.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

Mediation is particularly beneficial in a divorce situation because you and your future ex may have to interact again in the future — especially if you will serve as co-parents. Divorce mediation enables you and the other party to practice resolving disputes on your own and finding common ground when dealing with conflict-causing matters, which you will have to do in the years ahead.

Using a divorce mediator additionally protects your confidentiality. On the contrary, if you go to court, everything you and your spouse discuss will end up being part of the public record. Divorce mediation also helps to avoid the emotional and financial costs of traditional divorce, as reaching a settlement is usually a faster process.