Most divorce cases settle through or as a consequence of mediation. In a typical case, both parties retain their own attorney. First, the four of you meet – the two attorneys and the two litigants – in order to define the issues of the case. Once those issues are defined, if the parties are unable to resolve those issues between themselves or through their counsel, then a mediator will be brought in. Most mediators are accountants, attorneys, or retired judges who will sit and listen to both sides and try to foster a settlement.
A mediator does not make a decision for you, and a mediator’s opinion cannot be considered binding like a judge’s or arbitrator’s decision would be binding. A mediator’s job is to bring two sides together to the middle to try to come up with a resolution that both sides can live with. Most cases resolve through mediation because it is the most cost effective way to resolve a divorce case.
Abigale M. Stolfe is a partner at Stolfe Zeigler, a boutique family law firm that obtains favorable outcomes for high-net-worth, complex, and litigious cases.