Mediation—Frequently Asked Questions

An informal process of deciding issues that arise during a divorce proceeding.

The use of mediation in Grand Rapids separation and Grand Rapids divorce cases is gaining in popularity. Judges in Michigan strongly encourage spouses to settle their case out-of-court, many times by way of mediation.

Put simply, mediation is an informal process of deciding settlement issues which arise during the case. You and your spouse typically sit in the same room with a mediator. The mediator is trained in facilitation and negotiation techniques, and is a neutral party to the case. As such, the mediator cannot give advice to either side. The purpose of the mediator is to aid settlement by assisting the parties in making their own negotiations and own decisions.

This process typically offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Lowered cost
  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Less stress and emotional trauma; less adversarial
  • Equality in problem resolution
  • Increased cooperation between spouses
  • Increased likelihood of fair agreement

The main advantage of mediation is that it keeps both spouses in control of their own separation or divorce. That can make all the difference for each spouse to recover from the situation and move on with life. Mediation allows the parties to get through the process with less conflict than would be experienced in an adversarial (court trial) situation.

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