Mediation represents one form of alternative dispute resolution that allows participants to resolve their disputes outside of court. An impartial and neutral third party, known as a mediator, guides the discussion between parties.
Mediation often helps divorcing spouses express their positions in a controlled environment that could foster productive negotiations. The mediation process might support the development of the whole divorce settlement or just parts of it. For example, parents asserting their rights to child custody in Indiana might develop a child custody agreement with the aid of a mediator without giving up the option of litigating other elements of their divorce, such as property division.
Mediation is particularly useful because the parties can agree to solutions that the court may not have the specific option of ordering.
A solution proposed within mediation by your lawyers or the mediator might get you past emotional roadblocks that have made it difficult to discuss the details of a parenting plan with a former partner. The mediator might look at both of your work schedules and offer workable ideas about custody and visitation.
Mediation can be done with or without the parties being represented by an individual lawyer. Some counties in Indiana require mediation to be completed before you can schedule or have a final hearing before a judge to complete your divorce.