When a Las Vegas couple decides to end their marriage, the spouses usually enter the process with an excess of emotional energy and a deficit of careful thinking. These tendencies often prevent a divorcing couple from engaging in any attempt to settle their differences without going through an expensive court battle. In order to aid couples in resolving their disagreements, many lawyers now recommend participation in a divorce mediation.

Mediation is used in a number of legal settings in an effort to encouragement settlement. In a divorce or family law mediation, the couple meets with a neutral party to discuss various ways to resolve their differences. The mediator must be certified by the state and have received the required training in mediation techniques. A mediator is not permitted to make any decisions in the case. Rather, the mediator’s role is the evaluation of the parties’ respective positions on issues such as child support, custody, visitation, alimony and property division.

Most mediations begin with a meeting conducted by the mediator. The parties must attend, and either or both can bring their attorneys. Usually, each side presents an analysis of the issues that must be resolved and that party’s position on each issue. The mediator will usually ask some questions to clarify various points. The mediator may then meet separately with each party for a confidential discussion of that party’s position on each issue.

One of the mediator’s most important roles is suggesting possible compromises that may satisfy both parties. A mediator may call the parties back for one or more subsequent sessions if progress is seen. At the conclusion of the mediation, the mediator will draft an agreement incorporating the terms that the parties have agreed upon and enumerating remaining areas of disagreement. Most experienced divorce lawyers believe that mediation can facilitate resolution of many divorces without going to court.