What to expect during mediation?
Both parties have the opportunity to raise issues of concern and to explain the facts of the dispute as each person sees them. The mediator then asks questions to identify those parenting and economic issues that require discussion. Once the mediator and parties have identified the issues for discussion, the mediator helps the parties work collaboratively to explore and choose options that meet the parties’ needs. Although most information is exchanged with everyone at the table, there may come a time when either party, the party’s counsel or the mediator suggests a caucus. During the caucus, the mediator meets individually with each party to explore how the parties view the dispute and the impact of any proposed solutions. The mediator does not share any information discussed in caucus without the disclosing party’s permission.
If the parties agree to a parenting plan that resolves the issues of child custody, visitation or financial issues, that agreement will be returned to the referring Justice for review. If approved, the agreement may be incorporated in the court’s Order or Judgment of Divorce. If the parties are unable to reach agreement on some or all of the issues, they return to court.