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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Mediation in Michigan

By Iafrate & Salassa

A couple having a discussion with a mediator in between them, representing how one can benefit from contacting a Clinton Township divorce lawyer.

Mediation is a great option for anyone going through a divorce. This process allows people going through a divorce to have the final word on what settlement they receive, and it is often much more affordable than taking a divorce to trial. As beneficial as mediation is, though, many people still do not fully understand the process, and they have a lot of questions about it. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about divorce mediation and their answers.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process people can go through for divorce as an alternative to going to trial. It is voluntary and thought of as a cooperative process because both sides work together to come to a resolution. During mediation sessions, a mediator will meet with both sides in an attempt to get them to come to a resolution. Mediation is much less combative and, because each side works together, the two spouses are in control of the final terms. 

Is Mediation Mandatory in Michigan?

Unlike other states that require that spouses attend mediation before going to trial, there is no such requirement in Michigan. However, a judge may sometimes order that the spouses attempt to resolve their divorce through mediation before they go to court. Additionally, there are cases in which mediation is not appropriate. For example, divorces that involve domestic abuse are not suitable for mediation because at least one side will be unwilling to cooperate.

When Should People Try Mediation?

Couples can attempt mediation at any time during their divorce proceedings. In most cases, it is best to start early, sometimes even before the divorce proceedings have begun. This allows the couple to come to a resolution quickly, sparing them from heated arguments and a process that can be quite lengthy and costly. 

How Does Mediation Start?

People who are interested in attempting to go through mediation for their divorce should speak to a Clinton Township divorce lawyer. A lawyer can provide information about how to start mediation and can help them find a mediator who is a good fit for their case.

Do I Have to Go to Court if My Divorce is Settled During Mediation?

One of the biggest reasons people attempt to resolve their divorce through mediation is so they can avoid going to trial. If a divorce is settled through mediation, it means that it is not necessary to go to trial. However, that does not mean that the parties do not have to go to court. The final paperwork must be submitted to the court, and a judge must approve the settlement, which means that the couple will have to appear in court at least once after settling during mediation.

Can a Michigan Divorce Lawyer Attend Mediation With Me?

Not only can you have your attorney present during mediation sessions, you should. A Clinton Township divorce lawyer will protect your best interests and be able to negotiate effectively with the other side during the sessions. If you are considering mediation as an alternative dispute resolution for your divorce, call our attorneys at Iafrate & Salassa, P.C. today. We can guide you through the meditation process and represent you during the trial if mediation is unsuccessful. If you are going through a divorce, call us today or contact us online to speak to one of our attorneys.

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