How Does Divorce Mediation Work in Utah?

You’re ready to start your divorce and want to avoid a drawn-out legal battle in the Utah courts. Good news: you don’t have to fight. You can choose mediation.

You and your spouse can avoid expensive legal fees and skip the courtroom altogether.

In this article, we’ll walk through how divorce mediation works in Utah. Read on to learn more about how you can reach a peaceful resolution.

What is divorce mediation?

Divorce mediation is a method of resolving divorce-related disputes outside of litigation. In mediation, you and your spouse are guided by a third-party mediator to reach agreement.

This is an image of a child spending time with their parent.A divorce mediator works with you both and does not act as a judge or lawyer. They listen carefully to understand your unique needs and explain any relevant laws. Their goal is to help you collaborate to reach agreements you both find acceptable.

Mediation is confidential, so everything that’s said during the meetings remains private.

When can you use divorce mediation in Utah?

Mediation is an option at any time. You can choose to work with a mediator before or after you file for divorce. When you reach a resolution in mediation, you can file an uncontested divorce.

It’s not uncommon for spouses to be at different emotional places when beginning the divorce process. Even if you and your spouse aren’t getting along, an expert divorce mediator can help you respectfully discuss the issues at hand.They use conflict resolution strategies to ensure that you both have a voice and feel heard.

Mediation helps parents protect their children. Research shows that children whose parents engage in a high-conflict divorce are more likely to show symptoms of stress. To combat this, 93% of recently divorced parents tried a method of dispute resolution–like divorce mediation–rather than litigation.

Fortunately, mediation provides relief for families and by the end of the process, most parents actually take pride in having mediated their agreements.

At The Aurit Center for Divorce Mediation, 

98% of parents felt that mediation protected their 

kids from the harm of litigation.

Aurit Center Certified Mediators guide you through all topics of your parenting plan in a low-conflict setting. They help you reach workable child custody agreements and as your children grow, family mediation can be utilized to help you update your parenting plan to best meet your kids’ ever-changing needs. Your Aurit Center Certified Mediator is always here to help.

What are the benefits of using divorce mediation in Utah?

There are many benefits to choosing mediation for your divorce, here are a few of them:

  • Stay in control. In court, a judge makes decisions that may not meet the needs of you, your co-parent or your children. In mediation, you and your spouse work together to come to mutually acceptable agreements.
  • Less stressed. Divorce isn’t easy, and going to court makes it even harder. In mediation, conflict is kept to a minimum and you can complete your divorce without ever going to court.
  • Save money. Divorce court can cost tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, per spouse. Hiring a divorce mediator is the affordable option. Aurit Center Certified Mediators offer all-inclusive, flat-fee pricing and payment plans. During your free consultation, you will receive all of the information you need–including your personalized mediation cost–to make the best decision for your family.
  • Save time. The court system is slow. You can spend a long time waiting for court dates and lawyer responses. In mediation, you can resolve your divorce in just a few meetings, and you set the pace.

This is an image of a rugged Utah landscapeWhen does Utah require divorce mediation?

When a divorce in Utah has contested issues, the spouses must go to at least one mediation meeting before going to court. You’ll need to contact a divorce mediator within 15 days of filing for divorce. Then, you’ll have 45 days to start the mediation process.

Many spouses choose to split the cost of their divorce mediator equally. If you can’t afford to hire a mediator, you can fill out a Divorce Mediation Income Survey with the Court.

Divorce mediation is a safe space for you to discuss your needs. If you don’t feel safe meeting with your spouse, you can ask to be excused from the mediation session.

You and your spouse can also choose to bypass the court mediation process and mutually agree to work with a private mediator of your choosing. Your mediator will help you reach all agreements outside of the courtroom.

What does the divorce mediation process look like in Utah?

Divorce mediation is much simpler than litigation. When you choose to mediate, neither spouse needs to hire a divorce lawyer—though either of you can choose to consult with one for legal advice at any point in the process.

The best way to mentally prepare for your mediation meetings is to keep an open mind. You’ll get the most from meetings when you are willing to cooperate and negotiate. After all, you and your spouse are in mediation to reach agreements you both find acceptable.

Your mediator will guide you through the entire process–from beginning to end.

Here’s what you can expect from your divorce mediation meetings:

1. Consultation

Your first step is to schedule a consultation. You can use the Utah State Courts’ list of approved divorce mediators.

To help you make the best decision for your family, Aurit Center Certified Mediators offer a free, one-hour initial consultation that takes place online. An experienced, professional mediator will explain what you can expect from the mediation process.

Before your consultation, it is helpful to write down any concerns or questions you’d like to discuss with your mediator. They will answer your questions and explain next steps.

If you decide that divorce mediation is the right route for you, you’ll sign an Agreement to Mediate before your first mediation meeting.

2. Information gathering

Your divorce mediator will have you gather information to prepare for your mediation meetings.

You will gather the necessary information around marital assets/debts and income.

If you have children, your mediator will ask about your kids’ needs as you prepare to create a parenting plan. They will use this information to help you and your spouse come to an agreement.

This is an image of a mother holding her child in her arms.Your mediator will create a safe environment to discuss personal information, such as your kids and finances. It’s important to have open and honest conversations. Everything you say during mediation is confidential and can’t ever be used against you in court.

3. Mediation meetings

The mediation process typically includes two to four two-hour meetings. Your mediator will raise each and every issue that will need to be discussed. They will inform you both about the relevant laws and help you reach mutually acceptable agreements.

If you choose to work with a lawyer, they are welcome to attend your mediation meetings if you both agree to their attendance. You are not required to have a lawyer.

Your divorce mediator will guide respectful and collaborative meetings where you and your spouse can have productive conversations.

4. Reaching agreements

Your mediator will keep track of the agreements you and your spouse make during your meetings. They will prepare your documents and give you both the opportunity to review all of the terms. When you both approve of all agreements, you each will sign the documents.

You may have a divorce lawyer review the terms, but this isn’t required. Keep in mind that, once signed by both of you, these are legal agreements.

Once you have both signed the agreement, your mediator will submit the document to the Utah Court. Your divorce is final once the judge has reviewed and approved your documents.

How do you finalize your divorce after mediation services in Utah?

Mediation is successful, and all agreements are reached, over 95% of the time.

This is an image of wildflowers in a field.If you and your spouse aren’t able to reach all agreements, your mediator will send a Mediation Disposition Notice to the Court. This notice will include the agreements you were able to reach and the points that haven’t yet been resolved. This will let the Court know that there are issues to be discussed in court that you would like a judge to decide upon. You’ll then receive a court date, and a Utah judge or commissioner will rule on those remaining issues.

Choose divorce mediation with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator

Going through the legal system to resolve a divorce can be scary. In mediation, you and your spouse meet in a cooperative and supportive setting instead of a hostile courtroom. Even if you feel like you’ll never find common ground, a mediator can guide you to agreement.

An Aurit Center Certified Mediator will help you both feel comfortable in your meetings so you can come to a peaceful resolution. Schedule a free consultation with an Aurit Center Certified Mediator to learn more about how mediation can help you and your family. If you have any questions, please call or email us anytime.

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