Alabama Mediation Lawyers
Because divorce is such an emotionally charged experience, it’s really no surprise that it invites conflict. This is perhaps particularly true given the complexities of the process and all of the different ways that a divorce impacts your daily life. When a married couple have trouble coming to agreements regarding certain issues, or even simply when they need to go over their current terms and ensure that both parties are still in agreement, mediation comes into play. This process is designed to help couples overcome hostility and reach agreements that work for both parties during a divorce.
What is mediation?
As briefly stated above, mediation is a process through which a married couple undergoing a divorce can mediate their problems. The idea is that an impartial third party can often help quell strong emotions and lead to rational decision-making that will allow the divorce to move forward as quickly and smoothly as possible. This isn’t always the case, of course, and sometimes mediation fails. But it is an important part of the divorce process in the state of Alabama, and if you and your partner are particularly contentions throughout the divorce process, you can expect to find yourself in mediation of some sort and of some length.
It should be noted that mediation, despite the information above, is not always contentious in nature. In fact, individuals who fully agree are still normally required to undergo a mediation session in order to set out all of the terms of their divorce and ensure that everyone is on the same page. With that said, it is also true that contested divorces tend to have more mediation sessions required.
When is mediation mandatory?
There are three times in which mediation is mandatory. The first occurs when all parties are in agreement. This might not sound like cause for mediation, but it is important to ensure that everyone involved in the divorce fully understands the terms to which they are agreeing. That is the idea behind this particular requirement. It is not a punishment or meant to be inconvenient, in other words, but rather is meant to help the divorce proceed smoothly.
The second time where mediation is mandatory is when any party involved in the divorce makes a motion for it. The party requesting mediation pays for its costs (not including attorney fees) unless other arrangements have been made. This allows the parties to explore any perceived or state issues in an attempt to find common ground and remediation.
The third situation where mediation is mandatory happens when the court itself orders it. During a divorce hearing, the court can order mediation to help the parties come to an agreement regarding various issues. The court might distribute mediation fees among the various parties. This kind of order is usually made before the judge is asked to make their own ruling regarding the disagreements among parties and the terms of the divorce. Whenever possible, the court prefers the parties involved in the divorce to come to their own agreements.
Are there consequences for failing to attend mediation?
Mediation, under the situations above, is mandatory – but what happens if you fail to attend a session? The court can, in fact, impose sanctions upon anyone who fails to mediate, which means that you could face fines or other consequences as a result of refusing to attend the mediation session. In general, it is a good idea to attend mediation to help ensure that your own best interests are represented. Failing to do so could end with you receiving less than optimal divorce terms.
Mediation and Attorneys
It should be noted that you do not actually consult the mediator. Instead, it is important that each party involved have their own attorney at the mediation. They can turn to these individuals and ask them any questions they might have, which helps ensure that the terms eventually agreed upon are in the best interests of each party.
Contact An Alabama Mediation Attorney
If you are contemplating or in the middle of a divorce and need help with mediation, you should reach out to attorneys who can help ensure that your rights are upheld. Lloyd & Hogan, Attorneys at Law, can help. We offer free consultations and are ready and willing to hear about your case. Contact us today at for more information.