WHAT IS MARITAL MEDIATION?
The fact that I have gone thru a distructive divorce myself, I encourage couples having trouble wilth their marriage to try a Marriage Mediation before committing to a Divorce Mediation. There are times when issues of control and power (i.e. money, use of time, etc.) can use mediation to reach a legal Agreement addressing those issues, thereby strengthening the marriage or other relationship.
IS A MARITAL MEDIATION LEGAL?
In July, 2010 our Supreme Judicial Court upheld such contracts as long as there is no duress or fraud. In our mediation process the the couple hires me as their mediator. During a series of meetings the couples work with the mediator to identify their own issues and develop a mutually satisfactory plan to address them. The plan includs an exchange of financial information and whatever sharing of control and responsibility they consider best for them. Both are free to consult with a lawyer, financial planner or other advisor at any time. The process is designed to help the couple strengthen their marriage, and in many cases it has.
Once an Agreement is reached, I will write a draft of a Marital Agreement for each spouse to review with his or her Lawyer before signing. The Agreement may be admissible in evidence if the couple desires, and may be enforced by a court.
THE REQUIREMENT OF COMMITMENT
Marital mediation works only if the couple is willing to make a good faith effort to reach agreement. There is no legal obligation to agree. Any commitment to mediation and to make the resulting Agreement work comes voluntarily from the couple.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF MEDIATION
The process of negotiating and writing a legal Agreement can change behavior in the relationship. Just identifying what the couple is arguing about is itself healthy. Creating personal solutions will give the marriage or relationship a greater life expectancy. Children thrive in the absence of parental conflict.
HOW MUCH DOES A MARITAL MEDIATION COST?
The cost is the same as a Divorce Mediation. Most couples take about ten hours of mediator time, over whatever period they wish. My fee is $250.00 per hour, and payment is required at the time of the mediation. I accept most credit cards and checks.