Divorce mediation is a formal meeting with a third party mediator where divorcing couples seek ways to find solutions to spousal support, child custody and child support, according to About.com. In some cases, mediators are appointed by the court and assist with resolutions prior to a divorce hearing.
A mediator serves as a neutral party trained to assist couples in resolving disagreements related to the divorce, according to FindLaw. Mediators provide each party with time to explain their reasoning and speak about desired arrangements regarding spousal support, child custody or division of property. The mediator provides both parties with legal options, alternatives for resolving problems and common decisions made by judges during divorce.
Some couples find that mediation can save time and money, according to About.com. If couples agree on arrangements and divorce matters with a mediator, they can sidestep a formal divorce court proceeding. Mediation is also a confidential process and not a matter of public record, whereas divorce proceedings are formerly recorded by a court reporter.
Mediation sessions typically last 1 to 2 hours, according to FindLaw. Some couples meet with the mediator several times before resolutions are final. In the event that divorce mediation is not successful, a divorce judge may make the final decisions on the unresolved issues.