Divorce mediation can be an effective solution if you and your spouse disagree about child custody, parent time, asset division or any other key issue in your case. If you can come to terms through mediation, you can avoid court hearings and a costly trial — and your divorce will likely reach a conclusion much faster.
Is Divorce Mediation Required in Utah?
Utah law requires all divorcing couples who have disputes to participate in at least one mediation session. You or your spouse can submit an application to be excused from the requirement, but approvals are rare and only occur in extreme situations. In most cases, mediation must be attempted before the divorce can move forward in court.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
The process starts with you and your spouse choosing a mediator. The three of you will meet to discuss the sources of dispute in your divorce, and the mediator will try to reach mutually acceptable resolutions.
Everyone may be in the same room for the discussions, or the mediator may choose to speak with each of you separately, shuttling between two separate rooms. In some cases — such as when one party is incarcerated or lives outside of Utah — divorce mediation may be done over the phone.
How Do You Select a Mediator?
You can find a list of qualified mediators on the Utah State Court website. This listing, arranged by county, includes hourly fees, travel costs and a brief biography of each mediator to help couples find the right one for them.
You can also ask your divorce lawyer for a recommendation — most work with mediators on a regular basis and can help you find someone who meets your needs.
Who Pays for Divorce Mediation?
Unless you and your spouse agree otherwise or the court decides on an alternate payment arrangement, you will share the costs of mediation equally. If you cannot afford the expense, financial assistance is available. Fill out and submit the required form, and you may qualify for a single four-hour session with a mediator at no cost.
Can Your Divorce Lawyer Attend the Mediation?
Your divorce lawyer can be at your side during the mediation if everyone involved agrees. In some cases, it may be beneficial — and cost-effective — to attempt a session without an attorney present. However, having your lawyer attend can ensure that any agreement you make protects your interests. But if your spouse is bringing an attorney, you should, too.
Do you have other questions about divorce mediation in Utah? Rex B. Bushman, attorney at law, can provide you with expert answers and sound legal advice on resolving your divorce disputes.
A highly skilled divorce lawyer with decades of experience, Rex B. Bushman has the legal knowledge and strategic expertise to guide you through the process and help you achieve a better outcome. For a free consultation to discuss representation and divorce mediation, call today.
NOTE: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.