Nebraska Divorce Mediation

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Mediation is a successful collaborative method of resolving marital disputes. Any divorce is the consequence of some marital discord between the married partners. When two people decide to get separated from each other, they face a lot of issues. The couple may choose to resolve these issues by themselves or they may leave that with the court. There is a third option also – mediation. In this voluntary and collaborative process the couple has to present their own side of the fact, discuss issues amongst themselves and with the mediator, answers to questions asked by the third party, and then take a final decision regarding various issues. The same process is followed by couples going through mediation in Nebraska divorce. In this negotiation process the facilitator plays the role of a convener, educator and process adviser.

Before you attend a reconciliation conference, it is better to know the pros and cons of the process. Some important information about this process is elaborated here.

How Nebraska Divorce Mediation works?

Any individual who desires to mediate may contact a mediation center and request for the service. Alternatively, lawyers, courts, friends, social services etc. may make a referral of such an individual. When both the parties accede to mediate, the center finalizes the time and place that is convenient for all those involved. The venue for this purpose may be anywhere in the state. If the individual is unable to pay for the service, still the services are not denied.

Post Nebraska Divorce Mediation procedure

  • During the mediation, if any resolution or agreement is reached and is either in written or oral form, then this can serve as a contract amongst the parties.
  • If the dispute amongst the divorcing partners is in a pending state in an administrative process or a court, the agreement can be forwarded to the agency or the Court for approval.
  • In order to ensure a follow through of the agreement or resolution, the parties might plan to meet at a future date.
  • During the mediation, if the parties fail to reach an agreement then they have not waived their rights and can continue with other options of resolving their conflict.

ODR (Office of Dispute Resolution)

With the intention of promoting, developing and using the practice of mediation in this state, the Nebraska Legislature in 1991 passed the Nebraska Dispute Resolution Act (NRS Section 25 - 2901). The ODR was created in the Administrative Office of the Courts / Probation. The objective of this office was to support and oversee the development of the mediation centers. There are 6 regional non-profit centers. The ODR has approved these and offers a yearly grant to them. At these centers mainly an interest based facilitative procedure is used. A state ODR advisory council consists of members from various backgrounds like:

  • Social Services
  • Education
  • Mental health
  • Faith-based community
  • Lawyers
  • Judiciary
Advantages of Mediation
  • As attorneys and several other people can take part in this session, it is flexible.
  • Confidential and private nature
  • Less costly
  • A usual session extends for about 2 hrs. As soon as all parties assemble at the table, the session can be commenced and issues can be settled quickly.
  • Interest based mediation encourages enhanced personal and professional relations by means of constructive problem solving and facilitated communication.
  • An unbiased mediator assists the parties regarding their facts and feelings.
  • Parties can maintain control over the outcome of their issues.
Duties of the mediator
  • The mediator should know outside resources and should advise the parties to approach them whenever apt.
  • Whenever essential, the mediator should advise parties to procure legal review of agreements.
  • The mediator is not authorized to impose or make any penalty or adjudicatory sanction on the participants.
  • If the agreement would be unconscionable as per the judgment of the mediator, then the mediator can terminate the negotiation process.
  • When the parties are unable to agree, the mediator can stop the process.
  • The termination of a session by the mediator should not be due to prejudice to either party.

Although mediation has a number of benefits, it is not advisable for those who are facing serious issues pertaining to property distribution or alimony. Couples who have common problems of child custody or child visitation can opt for this type of collaborative way of dispute resolution. They should try to take workable decisions and reach to agreements that are mutually-satisfying and a mediator can help in achieving these aims to a greater extent.

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