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Personal and Professional Legal Services in the Heart of Vermont

How does mediation work in Vermont?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Divorce, Mediation |

Nobody truly understands the dynamics and needs of your family better than you and your spouse. Amidst a divorce, mediation may give you both a platform to discuss and negotiate terms together while striving for a resolution that best serves the whole family. This approach of working together may give you better control over the outcome rather than leaving it all for the judge to decide.

What can you expect from mediation?

If you are committed to maintaining a civil relationship after divorce, especially with children involved, mediation may be the path for you. It offers you a chance to discuss your concerns privately in sessions typically spanning a full day. Through mediation, you will explore the possibilities for your future arrangements accompanied by your lawyers or a support person and guided by a mediator.

How mediation helps facilitate discussions

Mediation, by design, is meant to minimize conflict and foster an environment that allows both parties to reach an agreement. Although it is usually voluntary, a judge may recommend or order divorcing couples to meet with a mediator.

You and your former spouse are free to select a mediator from a list. The mediator works to remain unbiased, ensure each party is heard, clarify any points raised and direct both parties toward solutions.

However, complex issues may require more than one session. After completing mediation, the mediator will help you draft the necessary documents for court, including an agreement that reflects what you and your former spouse have decided together. While mediators provide guidance, they cannot offer legal advice, so having an attorney to represent and advise you can be crucial in understanding the legal implications of your decisions.

What if mediation does not lead to an agreement?

Sometimes, it just is not possible to agree on everything. In such cases, the mediator will draft a partial agreement that includes only the terms you mutually agreed to. The judge will then schedule a hearing to decide on unresolved issues.

Moreover, although mediation may prevent conflict, it is not for everyone. You can end mediation if it does not meet your needs.

Whether you see the benefits of mediation or prefer to battle it out in court, having a legal ally by your side can be invaluable. With an experienced divorce attorney, you have someone ensuring your voice is heard and looking out for your family’s best interests, whatever route you take.