If both spouses accept that divorce is inevitable, mediation may provide an alternative that is less stressful and more economical. Mediation is not for everyone. It is important that mediation be truly voluntary for both parties and that both can commit to resolving their differences out of court in an atmosphere of civility and mutual respect.
With those prerequisites, any issue that potentially exists in a divorce case (i.e., property distribution, custody, division of debts, child support, and spousal support) can be mediated. Some advantages to mediation include the ability to resolve these issues in more nuanced detail, with greater attention to the actual needs and limitations of the parties, a reduction in stress for the entire family and, often, a reduced total cost.
I think it is an advantage to choose a trained mediator like myself who is also experienced in adversarial divorce. In crafting a solution, I can assist the parties in understanding not only the law, but also the prevailing normative customs, thereby saving time and offering clarity wherever possible. Mediation is usually a process of identifying the points on which the parties agree, and then moving the parties from "positional bargaining" on the remaining issues to a needs-based, "win-win" approach, resulting in a complete written separation agreement which will define the respective rights and responsibilities of the parties to each other, and will be incorporated as a final judgment of the court.
As a mediator I am truly neutral, and I will "call them as I see them", without favoritism to either spouse. Parties often mediate without their own attorneys, but you have the absolute right to involve an attorney to represent you individually at any stage of the process, including as "review counsel". I will prepare all the paperwork, and will attend court with you to present the completed agreement to the judge at the appropriate time. Recent changes in the rules of court permit parties to obtain a dissolution judgment without any waiting period as long as they have a complete agreement, so it upon conclusion of the mediation, we can go to court as soon as is mutually convenient to finalize the divorce.
I would be happy to speak with you further about mediating your divorce. Please contact me at your convenience.