Divorce mediation offers an alternative to court divorces for Utah couples, which can save them money and allow them to work together in the best interests of their children. Mediation can be especially helpful for ex-spouses trying to establish parenting plans because it can help them to learn to communicate with each other within the boundaries of their new relationship. During mediation, ex-spouses work with a mediator to reach agreements on assets, debts, alimony, child custody and other important matters. The mediator helps them to keep the negotiations on track and civil, which can be important for exes that do not get along with each other.
Since no state in the country has a licensing requirement for mediators, exes should work together to choose qualified mediators that have at least 60 hours of training, have a degree in law or a mental health field and abide by the guidelines set forth in “Model of Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation.” During the mediation process, couples can also bring in real estate appraisers, tax attorneys and accounts to help them to determine their marital assets.
Mediation only works for couples who do not have issues with physical or emotional abuse or drug problems. Exes should not choose divorce mediation if they believe their former spouses are trying to hide assets. Divorce mediation works similarly to court proceedings in that assets are split up in an equitable manner between the ex spouses.
Usually, couples need to meet for anywhere between six and 10 sessions during divorce mediation. Although private mediators can help them to decide on the distribution of assets, sometimes having a divorce mediation attorney act as mediator or be present during the process can be helpful, especially in a contested divorce. An attorney may be able to help couples to work through difficult areas, such as child custody agreements or asset division.