Filing for divorce doesn’t have to be a battle. An amicable divorce process built around mediation can help.

Divorce mediation can be a great tool for those seeking to end their marriage without causing harm to the other spouse or children involved. For many couples, the mediation process can provide greater support, comfort, and guidance than a divorce in the courtroom.

Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution, processes designed to settle a divorce case more quickly, more amiably, and at less cost. Mediation involves out-of-court conversations between parties, usually involving a family law attorney on one or both sides, to resolve common issues that will be outlined in a final divorce decree.

The team at Alithis Family Law can help with divorce mediation, the discernment process, outlining your goals, and guiding you through a more fruitful divorce process.

Feel confident and comfortable with Alithis Family Law – get in touch today for a free consultation.

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Here, you’ll learn:

  • How mediation can help you during a divorce 

  • How to prepare for mediation 

  • Whether mediation is right for you 

  • Navigating child custody agreements during mediation 

  • Common questions we get asked about mediation 

What is Family Law Mediation?

A woman considering divorce mediation on the phone

When you think of divorce, you may think of divorce settlements won in court by conflicting spouses, each with their own legal representation, arguing for their own interests.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

A mediated divorce allows for both sides to resolve conflicts outside of the courtroom, from spousal maintenance to child support, without the messiness and combativeness that frequently accompanies divorces resolved through litigation in the courts. Mediation allows the family a chance to act in their collective best interests without a messy process.

Often, a family law attorney acts as a mediation representative for them.

Mediation is often the most affordable way to reach a resolution during a Minnesota divorce.

Some courts will require that couples attempt to mediate their divorce before going to trial. Although the process is more affordable than going to a trial, it is not free. Typically, both spouses will split the cost of family law mediation.

What Should I Do Before Mediation? 

Before you participate in mediation, it’s important to have all of the requisite information that you need to reach an agreement. This includes financial information, how much each spouse earns, income fluctuation from year to year, etc.

It’s also important to know what kind of settlement you can live with before going to mediation.

What are you willing to compromise on?

What is non-negotiable for you?

Additionally, consider these questions from the opposing side’s point of view to help you get an idea of what their position at mediation might look like.

All of these, and more, will be part of your initial conversations with the attorney guiding you through the mediation process.

How Do I Find a Divorce Mediator?

In addition to helping you understand Minnesota law and the implications of a proposed agreement, your attorney can also help select a mediator that has the experience and background necessary to be helpful in your specific case. For example, if your divorce involves complex assets, you might want to consider a mediator who has experience dealing with high net worth divorce cases.

Navigating Child Custody During Mediation 

Many child specialists agree that a high conflict divorce can be an extremely stressful for children. With mediation, you may be able to avoid some of the high emotion that build in court, creating a more respectful environment and one conducive to raising children.

Building a parenting plan during mediation is ideal, helping you both make a good faith effort to act in the best interests of minor children in your family. Your children’s’ well-being always comes first, and a good mediator can help guide you through child-related concerns during the mediation process. 

A well-defined Divorce Decree typically outlines methods for resolving future disputes involving child-related matters, and more. The parties may include a mediation clause in the Divorce Decree that states they will engage in mediation (or they may choose another alternative dispute resolution option) to address child access issues before being able to proceed to Court. This is a strategic decision that should only be done after consulting an attorney.

What If Mediation Does Not Work? 

In some cases, the parties involved may be unable to come to agreement or make the most of mediation.

Or, mediation may simply be unrealistic. Your spouse may be unable or unwilling to provide a safe and respectful environment to effectively use mediation. In cases involving domestic abuse, mediation may not be an option. 

Unfortunately, many divorces must be settled before a judge. 

In these cases, an attorney can assist as you prepare for courtroom litigation. This legal process takes settlement negotiations to the courtroom, where a family law attorney can provide legal representation to help you defend your rights against the other party and build an agreement that works for you. 

Settling divorces through trial has become less common in recent years and has led to a reduction in the number of experienced attorneys who know how to go to court effectively. At Alithis, we’ve still got the experience.

A woman with her hands in the air wondering with questions about divorce mediation

Minnesota Family Law Mediation FAQs

When considering mediation during a divorce as an option to save money and provide potentially creative solutions to your needs, you want answers. 

Our team is prepared to guide you through even the most complicated cases, and we can offer case-specific guidance before you enter mediation – and to help you decide if mediation is realistic and right for you.

Is mediation required in Minnesota?

Minnesota legislators have found that mediation allows many couples to resolve their conflicts cost effectively and without courtroom intervention. As such, Minnesota requires residents to give mediation a good-faith try before taking their case to court. 

This can be a great option if you and your now-ex are seeking a divorce but do not want to participate in the high-conflict environment of the courtroom. Divorce mediation or even divorce arbitration can ensure you and your spouse come to an agreement that works for you both. 

Is mediation legally binding in MN?

Nothing agreed upon verbally or in principal during mediation is binding until the agreement is written up as a document and signed by both parties.

When coming to a final agreement, you may be concerned about whether the agreement you make will hold up in court. Because mediation can cover many topics and considerations and may evolve over the course of months, the mediation process is not legally binding until completed.

How much does divorce mediation cost in MN?

While divorce mediation may cost less than taking your case to court, it’s not free. Minnesota marital mediation can vary in cost depending on the complexity of the case, how amicable the process is, and how long your mediation takes. 

For example, a couple with limited assets and the beginnings of an agreement already created may have very few expenses during divorce mediation simply because there is less to work through. However, a couple with multiple children and millions in assets across businesses may have a more complex mediation ahead.

Because of this, the cost of mediation will vary.

Our advice is to have realistic expectations, ask your attorney for an idea of the expected cost, and to work with someone you trust. At Alithis Family Law, your attorney will do everything possible to make your case as easy and stress-free as possible for you – including transparent mediation pricing and helping you understand your options.

Talk to a Family Law Attorney About Mediation: A Divorce Mediator Near Your

Come to a divorce agreement with your former spouse that works for both of you, without a complex battle in court. 

Mediation is a great approach, and Alithis Family Law can help.

The challenges posed by divorce are best faced with an experienced attorney by your side. A successful mediation requires a lawyer who will strive to achieve your goals and protect your interests, but who also understands when compromise may be ideal. At Alithis Family Law, our Minneapolis divorce lawyers pride ourselves in serving clients to create confidence, comfort, and understanding.

Reach out today for your free divorce mediation consultation—you can call our office or fill out our online contact form to get started.