Summary of Divorce Mediation

If you and your spouse have not lost your ability to reason, and if your balance sheet is relatively straightforward, mediation may be your direct path to a creative settlement. You will have the opportunity to try child custody and visitation plans tailored to your unique life styles. Mediation is particularly well suited for working out cooperative plans. A good mediator, as a good attorney, will also help you avoid unworkable plans that invite future litigation.

If you or your spouse are out to get revenge, or your spouse has always dominated you, forget mediation. If you need aggressive representation, you’re not going to find that in mediation. If you are the controlling and dominant spouse, perhaps you’ll get away with it one more time. It’s not likely that you’ll get away with an unfair settlement, however, if your spouse has an attorney review and explain the agreement before signing it.

The majority of this book describes actions and things that your attorney will handle for you. One thing not emphasized, but extremely important here, is that your attorney acts as a buffer between you and your spouse. Two attorneys can negotiate a settlement between clients who won’t talk to each other. Throughout the divorce proceeding, your attorney can volunteer to wear the Black Hat while you’re still the good guy. You can say that you don’t see anything wrong with your spouse’s hare-brained proposal, but can’t agree to it because your "attorney advises you against it."