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What to expect from mandatory family law mediation

On Behalf of | Sep 5, 2023 | Blog, Divorce

Cases involving divorce and child custody can be emotionally challenging and complex. In Michigan, the legal system employs a process called mandatory family law mediation to help families navigate these issues in a more cooperative and structured manner.

Many couples going through divorce do not know what to expect from the mediation process. Having a basic understanding ahead of time can make the process much easier to approach.

The mediation process

A third-party mediator guides the discussions in a setting outside of the courtroom. The mediator helps the couple reach a mutually agreeable outcome. Each party has the opportunity to present their perspective on key issues.

The mediator facilitates a discussion to identify the concerns and interests of all parties involved. After understanding the concerns, the mediator helps generate potential solutions.

Once there is common ground, the mediator assists in formalizing the agreements into written documents. These agreements can cover various aspects such as child custody, visitation schedules and financial arrangements. The court then reviews them to ensure they meet legal requirements and are in the best interests of the spouses and any children involved.

Benefits of mediation

Mandatory family law mediation offers several benefits. It allows parties to maintain greater control over the outcome compared to leaving the decisions to a judge. Mediation is generally faster and less adversarial than going to court, and it can be more cost-effective.

There were 20,812 divorces in Michigan in 2022. As per Michigan law, each of these divorces went through mandatory mediation before litigation could take place. Knowing what to expect from the process can help divorcing couples achieve the most favorable outcome for both sides.