Divorce can be an emotionally and financially draining process.
However, mediation offers a lower cost and less stressful solution to the problem. Because of the many benefits, many cases receive a referral for mediation from the court immediately.
What is a presumptive mediation initiative?
The presumptive mediation initiative started in 2019. It applies to many types of cases, including personal injury and matrimonial, sending cases to mediation as the default first step in the legal process. Rules for presumptive mediation are at the discretion of local courts. However, most cases receive a referral when:
- The spouses ask for mediation
- The couple does not have children
- The couple does have children but both parents have regular employment
These rules change if the court finds a power imbalance, such as one parent being the sole source of income, or if there is a history of domestic or child abuse in the household. Additionally, if the couple does not want mediation, they can request an exemption. However, convincing the judge can be challenging.
What happens if mediation fails?
If the couple reaches an agreement in mediation, they only need to file the appropriate paperwork to complete the process. If mediation fails, the judge may issue another referral and require them to try again. If that also does not work, the couple can continue the divorce process through lawyer negotiations. Finally, they may go to trial where a judge makes the decisions for them.
Mediation is always the better option in a divorce, and most cases resolve during the process. It is the best way to reach a fast resolution.