The Dearborn Mediation Center, The Northville Mediation Center, and The Troy Mediation Center
Divorce Mediation Services

Information About Divorce Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary, problem-solving process, available to assist divorcing couples work out a mutual agreement on the issues which must usually be resolved in any divorce such as parenting, support, and division of property.

Mediation is for couples who have made a decision to divorce or who are unsure whether to divorce, but want a separation. It is also for couples who are already divorced but who have a post-decree dispute.

Mediation is not only for couples who agree. It is a process designed to help any couple regardless of existing differences. Mediation works like this. With the assistance of a trained neutral third party (a mediator), the couple works to identify, negotiate, and resolve in a fair way the issues raised by the decision to divorce. When those issues have been resolved, the mediator will draft a memorandum of agreement. This is reviewed by the couple and given to their attorneys for legal implementation. An attorney will then draw up a formal settlement agreement. The divorce may then go through the courts as an uncontested matter.

Mediation varies in length depending on the agenda, the complexity of the issues involved and the readiness of the couple to resolve these issues. However, the average mediation usually takes about five two-hour sessions.

Each client is urged to seek legal representation during the mediation process. While the decisions reached in mediation are made by the divorcing individuals, we believe that each person should have available to them an attorney with whom they can confer should they so feel the need.

The results of a comprehensive study of divorce mediation were published in an article entitled "Divorce Mediation" which was authored by Pearson and Thoennes and which appeared in the 1982 issue of Family Advocate. Two of their findings were as follows:

"The research indicates that mediation is the more desirable way for couples to resolve contested child
custody disputes."

"They also report much satisfaction with the process."

"Successful mediation clients are less likely to report problems with their court orders and are more likely to report that their spouses are in total compliance."

"The benefits of mediation clearly outweigh the costs."

"Mediated agreements were viewed more favorable than stipulations arrived at through the adversarial system...Apparently, the method by which an agreement was reached was critical. The mediation process generated a sense of equality not felt elsewhere."

Our article on divorce mediation appeared in the October 1989 issue of New Woman. The author, professional mediator Diane Neumann of Boston, Massachusetts, found that the mediation process provided the following advantages:

"Mediation allows each party to hear and respond to the other side of an issue."

"Mediation promotes the best interests of the children."

"Mediation saves time and money. "

"Mediation avoids the public display of private issues."

If you wish to set an appointment with a mediator or if you would like more information about divorce mediation, please contact us via email or call 313-561-5700.

 Charles L. Nichols
 Attorney, Executive Director, Mediator

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