Mediation FAQ

Exterior photo of Law Offices of Harris & Literski front entrance

Answering Your Divorce Mediation Questions

Since 1985, our attorneys at the Law Offices of Harris & Literski have sought out positive solutions for Brighton residents struggling with difficult family and domestic issues. We know that family legal disputes are among the most stressful and expensive legal matters to address, which is why we explore all possible options before we give you advice.
Divorce mediation is an option that more of our clients are pursuing because it is often a time-saving, economical way to resolve disputes. If you’ve read our mediation page, you are familiar with this approach and benefits. However, it is likely that you have other questions. Please read our answers below to the frequently asked mediation questions that we hear during client consultations.

What are the benefits of mediation?

At the Law Offices of Harris & Literski, we offer mediation services for divorcing couples in Brighton who want to peacefully negotiate the terms of their own divorce. We serve as a neutral third party and do not take sides. Our goal is to provide a unbiased atmosphere, where you and your soon-to-be ex can work together on reaching a settlement.
  • Mediation offers many benefits to individuals and families going through divorce. They include:
  • Savings — Mediation is cost-effective and much less expensive than going to court.
  • Confidentiality — Mediation hearings are private and not a matter of public record.
  • Control — Mediation allows you and your spouse control over how your divorce is settled, rather than a court deciding for you.
  • Improved communication — Mediation often helps divorcing couples with children learn how to better communicate with each other, which can help avoid future conflict.

We drive clients toward reaching an agreement whenever possible because this is often the fastest and least stressful way to approach divorce. When it is not possible for the parties involved to come to an agreement, our lawyers are experienced litigators who are prepared to take your case to court.

When is divorce mediation an option?

While mediation may be court-ordered, mediation is an option best suited for couples who are wishing to resolve their divorce outside of court. Mediation helps minimize additional stress and arguments, as the mediator handles negotiations between the couples. Mediation is a great option for couples with children, as it makes the process less argumentative and can help children see parents respecting each other and working to reach the best possible solution, not just get everything they want.

When would you not want to use divorce mediation?

If your divorce is acrimonious, with you and your spouse arguing over every aspect, mediation would not be the right choice. When realistically being able to reach a compromise with your spouse during divorce mediation is not going to happen, then litigating in court is a better avenue of resolution.

What is the mediator’s role?

It is the mediator’s job to facilitate discussion, not to take sides. Our mediators give each spouse an equal amount of time to talk during sessions and encourage parties to clarify their positions by asking follow-up questions. Our mediators are attorneys, so they understand Michigan’s divorce laws and can answer questions about these laws throughout sessions.

How does the process work?

During the initial session, the spouses identify issues that have been resolved and others that need to be addressed. In follow-up sessions, the mediator and parties work together to find acceptable solutions. Spouses often gather financial information and present it at sessions to discuss child support or property division issues. Using this information, our attorneys suggest legal remedies that may appeal to both sides.

How long does divorce mediation take?

Mediation sessions continue until parties reach an agreement, so both parties are somewhat in control of how long the process takes. If spouses are not able to reach an agreement during mediation, they litigate their dispute in court.

Will the court enforce the mediated agreements?

Once the judge approves your agreement, it is enforceable. If the other party refuses to follow the terms of the agreement, you can file a petition with the court to enforce it. There is a higher rate of compliance with mediated divorce agreements than other agreements because both parties have worked together to find mutually acceptable terms.

Who is responsible for filing divorce documents?

Our lawyers are licensed to practice in Michigan, so you can trust us to file your papers with the appropriate agency. We will review your documents before we submit them, ensuring that they are completed correctly.

How is divorce mediation different than divorce arbitration?

In mediation, the mediator works with both sides to reach a mutually agreed-upon solution to the issues, with some give and take from each party. In a divorce arbitration, each side presents its case to the arbitrator just like it would during a trial, only arbitration is held out of court. The arbitrator acts in the same capacity as a judge, hearing arguments from both sides and making a legally binding ruling. There is no give and take in an arbitration. Both sides are bound by what the judge decides

Do You Have Other Questions? Contact Us For More Information.

Receive an honest evaluation of your options during your free consultation. Please call 810-626-3281 or email our Brighton office to begin the conversation.