Wisconsin Divorce Mediation

Divorce mediation is a negotiation process allowing spouses to take control of the decisions during a divorce. In Wisconsin spouses can hire one attorney to mediate a divorce.

What is a Mediated Divorce?

By hiring a divorce mediator, you and your “soon to be” ex, are given the chance to decide the terms of your own divorce. You, and not a judge, will be able to decide what's best for your children, assets and debts, property, retirement, insurance, and taxes.

During mediation, a neutral third party helps facilitate you and your spouse through the issues, making you aware of the law along the way, so you can find common ground on the agreements to end your marriage.

Unlike litigation, divorce mediation assists spouses toward compromises. Mediation[1] is not a litigious process, meaning that it's not antagonistic. Mediation grants flexibility in the timetables, helping to avoid the overworked family court system. This means fewer hoops to jump through and a more thorough discussion about the issues.

Is Mediation Right for You?

Divorce mediation is the best option if you and your spouse are looking for an amicable and efficient way to end the marriage.  The mediator will help to simplify the divorce process and provide clarity on what needs to be completed and guidance on how to resolve both current and future issues. When neither spouse is looking to pull one over on the other, mediation is a great way to come to an agreement and save time and money during the process.

Why Mediation Works

The solutions available to you and your spouse a much greater through mediation. Many times, especially in divorce cases, someone walks away feeling as though the case did not go the way they felt that it should. Through mediation and representation, there is a greater chance of conflict resolution, therefore, coming to an agreement you can live with instead of the courts deciding for you. The stress that you may experience in court, and the residual effects on your home life, is worth the time and possible positive outcome that mediation offers.

What are the benefits of divorce mediation?

  1. The most affordable route to divorce as both parties pay one mediator
  2. Happens outside of court
  3. Voluntary exchange of information
  4. Clear directions on what to do, where to go and when
  5. Decide ahead of time how to handle post-settlement disputes
Call (262) 221-8123 now to discuss your divorce options and schedule a consultation so you can move forward.

Rules on Legal Advice & Legal Counsel

During your first mediation session, the mediator will lay out the rules and explain they are not acting as an attorney. They will not give legal advice in order to aid either party. The couple will be advised that they should seek legal counsel any time they have specific questions about their rights. The mediator will aid in explaining the laws so the parties can make informed legal decisions. The mediator will also draft legal documents for the parties to file with the court.

Rules that must be followed during mediation

  • The Mediator is not acting as an attorney and will not, under any circumstances, give legal advice to either party. Both parties are advised to seek their own legal counsel at any time during the mediation proceedings.
  • The mediator may give legal information to both parties as may be necessary for the parties to make informed decisions, but will not advocate on either party's behalf.
  • Both parties are encouraged to seek the advice of independent and separate legal counsel at any time during the mediation process with regard to their individual legal rights and responsibilities. If a party consults with or retains counsel during the mediation process, this fact shall be disclosed to the other party and to the mediator.
  • Each of the parties is encouraged to seek the advice of independent and separate legal counsel prior to signing any written agreement.
  • The parties agree that no legal action of any kind will be taken by either of them during the course of mediation, except with the express agreement of the other party. Further, if either or both parties have retained counsel prior to mediation, they shall be obligated to direct their attorney in writing that no adversarial action is to be taken on their case while the matter is in mediation.

Access to Professional Legal Forms & Tools

During your meditation sessions, the appropriate forms and tools will be available for your use, with the mediator there to guide you on their use and where to file any forms. The mediator will also aid in helping you navigate the calculator tools used for dividing property, assets, and debts. Without the proper tools figuring out an equitable distribution between the parties can be difficult.

Here are a few of the services and tools a mediator will be able to provide:

  • Court Approved Legal Documents – Your mediator will draft for you the summons and petition for divorce as well as the marital settlement agreement with you. This will ensure when you go to court you will not experience bumps in the process due to incorrect forms.
  • Court Approved Child Support & Maintenance Calculators – Not only will you get your forms drafted by a professional you will get access to the professional tools used by lawyers during negotiation. This will aid in the calculation of child support and maintenance while considering the tax implications of the scenarios.
  • Property, Asset & Debt Division Calculators – Along with the tools related to child support and maintenance, the mediator will also provide tools for dividing assets and debt. This will aid in the process and help expedite it. Avoid the complicated and limited forms the court provides and use the tools and documents the professionals use.

Working through the Issues

Each mediation takes on a life of its own. Some mediation sessions will go quickly and feel very productive. However, in almost every mediation spouses tend to disagree fervently on one or two issues. By helping you understand the law, the mediator will greatly assist you and your spouse work through lingering issues. What it means more specifically is that you'll have clear guidance in crafting an agreement. A skilled mediator will help you stay on track and avoid jumping from issue to issue. This facilitation typically results in less time invested, less emotional pain and reduced costs through the process. Even the toughest mediation sessions result in a more amicable outcome than fighting through a litigated process.

The mediator will help you through every aspect of the divorce agreement

  • Property, Asset & Debt Division – Walk through how to divide the marital estate and understand how to calculate the value of assets and debts for an equitable division.
  • Child Custody & Parenting Time – Discuss how the children will be raised and define how major decisions will be decided for the minor. Also, define how you will allocate parenting time for each parent to the benefit of the child. Finally, discuss how holiday and birthdays will be celebrated.
  • Child Support & Maintenance – Determine how much child support will be provided and how extra child care expenses will be paid. Find agreement on maintenance payments as well as the maintenance schedule.
  • Retirement – Discuss how retirement accounts and pension should be divided and or allocated at the time of disbursement. Leverage tools to determine an equitable division of retirement accounts.
  • Taxes & Insurance – Understand and agree on how taxes should be paid. Decide how certain tax deductions will be allocated when children are involved.

How to Suggest Mediation

During the divorce process, sometimes emotions can run hot and you may even suffer from depression. You and your spouse may not be on the best terms, in regards to speaking, or just getting through to one another. One may also carry a feeling of resentment or distrust for the other and this can sometimes be because of differences in age between the couple and many other things.

Approaching the idea of mediation with your spouse may be a good idea, but conveying this logic may be difficult, or impossible. If you and your spouse have obtained representation you could offer this idea to your lawyer, and they would be able to approach your spouses representative.Your spouse may be more receptive or open to the idea if it is coming from his/her own attorney.

If you feel this proposal would be best offered by you directly, there are several key factors to consider. Preparing yourself beforehand by doing the appropriate research is very important so to be able to answer any questions your spouse may have. Keeping a calm and positive demeanor is also very important in the approach.

Start off by explaining the fact you both may not agree on certain issues, but it is better to have everything worked out before going to court. Explain the key points and benefits that you feel you both may experience through the mediation process.

Explain that it is better for the children to remain amicable, and to not let heated emotions or the inability to agree on everything keep you both from moving on quickly, while remaining responsible, positive, and constructive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does divorce mediation work in Wisconsin?

During mediation, a neutral third party helps facilitate you and your spouse through the issues, making you aware of the law along the way, so you can find common ground on the agreements to end your marriage.

Unlike litigation, divorce mediation assists spouses toward compromises. Mediation is not a litigious process, meaning that it's not antagonistic. Mediation grants flexibility in the timetables, helping to avoid the overworked family court system. This means fewer hoops to jump through and a more thorough discussion about the issues.

How much does a mediator cost?

The total cost of a mediator depends on the issue at hand and the experience of the mediator. At Sterling Law Offices we have set a standard pricing structure for the mediation process.

A typical Sterling mediation family will spend about $4,200 total for the mediation process. The other costs related to mediation are the court filing fees and fees related to splitting retirement accounts after a divorce is finalized. All told, the average cost of a mediation with Sterling Law Offices is $5,000.

What do divorce mediators do?

The mediator will help you through every aspect of the divorce agreement

  • Property, Asset & Debt Division – Walk through how to divide the marital estate and understand how to calculate the value of assets and debts for an equitable division.
  • Child Custody & Parenting Time – Discuss how the children will be raised and define how major decisions will be decided for the minor. Also, define how you will allocate parenting time for each parent to the benefit of the child. Finally, discuss how holidays and birthdays will be celebrated.
  • Child Support & Maintenance – Determine how much child support will be provided and how extra child care expenses will be paid. Find agreement on maintenance payments as well as the maintenance schedule.
  • Retirement – Discuss how retirement accounts and pension should be divided and or allocated at the time of disbursement. Leverage tools to determine an equitable division of retirement accounts.
  • Taxes & Insurance – Understand and agree on how taxes should be paid. Decide how certain tax deductions will be allocated when children are involved.

Is Mediation cheaper than divorce?

The mediation process is often much more affordable than a litigated divorce. At Sterling Law Offices the average client going through a divorce will spend around $7,000 for our litigation services, but a family using the mediation process will spend in total $5,000, which includes the court filing fees and fees related to splitting retirement accounts.

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During mediation, a neutral third party helps facilitate you and your spouse through the issues, making you aware of the law along the way, so you can find common ground on the agreements to end your marriage.

Unlike litigation, divorce mediation assists spouses toward compromises. Mediation is not a litigious process, meaning that it's not antagonistic. Mediation grants flexibility in the timetables, helping to avoid the overworked family court system. This means fewer hoops to jump through and a more thorough discussion about the issues.

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A typical Sterling mediation family will spend about $4,200 total for the mediation process. The other costs related to mediation are the court filing fees and fees related to splitting retirement accounts after a divorce is finalized. All told, the average cost of a mediation with Sterling Law Offices is $5,000.

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The mediator will help you through every aspect of the divorce agreement

  • Property, Asset & Debt Division – Walk through how to divide the marital estate and understand how to calculate the value of assets and debts for an equitable division.
  • Child Custody & Parenting Time – Discuss how the children will be raised and define how major decisions will be decided for the minor. Also, define how you will allocate parenting time for each parent to the benefit of the child. Finally, discuss how holidays and birthdays will be celebrated.
  • Child Support & Maintenance – Determine how much child support will be provided and how extra child care expenses will be paid. Find agreement on maintenance payments as well as the maintenance schedule.
  • Retirement – Discuss how retirement accounts and pension should be divided and or allocated at the time of disbursement. Leverage tools to determine an equitable division of retirement accounts.
  • Taxes & Insurance: Understand and agree on how taxes should be paid. Decide how certain tax deductions will be allocated when children are involved.
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Divorce Options that Work for You

There are three basic types of divorce. The first step in obtaining a Wisconsin divorce is deciding which process is right for you.

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