An unbiased mediator is not a judge and generally may not side with one party over the other. The American Bar Association notes that mediators must maintain impartiality. They function in the manner of a “devil’s advocate.” During a mediation session, you and your spouse may both discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the marriage.
A mediator may ask several questions about why you wish to dissolve your relationship. Understanding each party’s circumstances allows a mediator to identify the facts concerning your hoped-for future. This may help reach agreeable outcomes related to property division and financial support.
Dividing marital property through a court differs from mediation
The Code of Virginia follows an equitable or “fair” distribution system. In a traditional divorce procedure, the court may classify assets and debts as marital property to divide them fairly. A judge may order divorcing couples to divide income and property based on an established standard of what appears fair.
As described by the Virginia State Bar, some individuals may leave their marriages with unexpected debt. With mediation, you may hold talks with an intermediary about how you wish to keep meaningful assets and cut certain financial obligations. A mediator could make it possible for couples to reach an agreement based on each spouse’s economic capabilities.
Providing documentation to reach a fair outcome
As noted by Brides.com, your financial, tax and property records may offer a starting point for negotiating a fair division. You may provide paycheck stubs and your joint tax returns when discussing financial support. Mortgage statements may reveal issues that could help a spouse keep a home and afford its upkeep.
A mediator allows couples to divide assets in a manner that may not involve a judge’s decision. Because mediation takes place outside of a courtroom, you may reach a settlement agreement that reflects your specific circumstances.