What You Need to Know About Utah Divorce Mediation
Utah law requires divorcing spouses go through mediation. However, there are many aspects of the legal mediation process that people are either unaware of or misunderstand. The law offices of Wall & Wall, P.C., welcomes you to contact us to schedule a consultation to learn more about divorce mediation.
Not All Mediators Are Attorneys
Many commercial mediation firms aren’t required to have a licensed attorney on staff. Even when you mediate with a licensed attorney, the attorney is acting as a mediator, not as legal counsel, so he or she is unable to provide legal advice. It is very important for you to have a knowledgeable attorney, such as the divorce mediation lawyers of Wall & Wall, P.C., on your side as you approach the mediation table.
You Need an Attorney as Your Advocate
People often assume they don’t need legal representation during Utah divorce mediation. Although you aren’t required to have an attorney, it is in your best interest to have an attorney at your side during mediation. Your attorney will act as your advocate and put your interests first.
Even in uncontested divorces, when both parties are cooperative, it is important to have a divorce mediation Utah attorney. Attorneys will help ensure that all areas of the family are mitigated correctly according to the law, ensuring there will be fewer disagreements in the future. This will save you time and future legal costs for your family.
Long-Term Consequences of Divorce Mediation Utah
The issues settled during the legal mediation process will have a lasting impact. Taxes, child support, visitation, and custody issues can all be affected by the results of mediation. And some issues, such as property settlement, simply cannot be renegotiated once your divorce is final. It is important to retain an experienced family law attorney who will honestly assess your options before you agree to anything.
Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce Mediation
Divorces are a harrowing experience for all those involved. The law in Utah requires that the divorcing parties go through a mediation process. This is the process in which the divorcing couple, with the help of an impartial mediator, consider their alternatives and develop options to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.
Mediation keeps conflict low and allows the divorcing couple a chance to reach an agreement without undue delay. Mediators are not necessarily lawyers, but they could help you in such issues as property division, custody, and visitation. Once both of you agree on specific terms, they could help you draft and fill all legal documents needed to finalize your divorce.
Many people end up lawyering up before considering the mediation process because they have no idea of what to expect in divorce mediation. Mediation is rather simple compared to litigation. Once you and your spouse agree on the mediation process and you’ve scheduled your first meeting, the mediator will ask for a typed summary of your disputes. They will also ask each party to state what they expect to accomplish.
During the divorce mediation process, each party will have a chance to explain the disputes from their point of view. The mediator then helps you negotiate until each issue is resolved in a mutually beneficial and acceptable way.
Since 2005, the law governing divorce mediation in Utah requires that all parties undergo at least one mediation process before the case proceeds to the court. However, mediation may be excused if one of the parties feels unsafe. This could be caused by high conflict levels thus crippling the party’s ability to express themselves during mediation reasonably.
To better understand what a mediator does, we’d first need to answer the question on what is a mediator. This is a neutral person who does not work for either party. This implies that a mediator is not allowed to advise the divorcing parties.
The role of a mediator in the divorce process is to help the couple resolve their disputes and come to an agreement. In most cases, mediation is voluntary, and it continues until the divorcing parties are satisfied.
The length of any mediation process is dependent on the disputes to be resolved and the parties’ willingness to cooperate. This is because each dispute needs to be introduced, explored, and resolved. Therefore, the more the issues, the more the discussions that will be needed to solve them successfully. A single mediation session normally takes two hours. This is enough to resolve a case with minimal issues.
Just like divorcing through the litigation process, you need to know how to prepare for divorce mediation. You need to prepare by first establishing what you want to achieve. Avoid taking a specific stand on any issue until it is resolved. Gather any relevant information related to the disputes. For instance, if you feel you’re better off taking custody of the children, having evidence of your income would help.
Most mediators charge either hourly or per session. As the number of sessions varies based on the cases’ complexity, it is difficult to establish exactly how much the mediation process costs. However, a mediator may charge as little as $100 per hour. Compared to the emotional and financial fallout that is typical of divorces, an amicable divorce through mediation is rather appealing
Once you’ve reached an agreement, you submit it as a stipulation to the court. The court enters the terms of your stipulation in a Decree of Divorce, and your divorce is finalized without any arbitration.
If you and your spouse do not come to a settlement, you have to go through the litigation process.
A Divorce Lawyer Can Help You Watch Out for Pitfalls
Your lawyer can explain the consequences of particular decisions and will watch for common pitfalls. For example, calculating child support according to income seems simple enough until overtime or bonus pay is thrown into the mix. That’s when it is essential to have an experienced lawyer there to guide you.
If you are going into family mediation services, it is essential to have an experienced advocate on your side. We are the Utah leader in family law. At Wall & Wall, P.C., we have extensive experience in representing clients through the mediation process. To arrange for a free initial consultation, contact the experienced family attorneys at Wall & Wall, P.C. at 801-441-2388. We will help you prepare for your divorce mediation Utah.