South Dakota Divorce Mediation

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For those who find their marriage a burden, usually decide to legally terminate this relationship. Apart from just the separation from the partner, several joint marital issues are also required to be sorted out during the legal process. There are a number of issues like child custody, property or debt distribution, alimony support, visitation schedule etc, that are to be settled before the final hearing in the court. It is observed that many divorcing spouses fail to settled their marital issues by themselves, as a result, the family court especially orders the divorcing parties to try some useful sessions such as mediation.

Divorce mediation in South Dakota also emphasizes on a confidential meeting in order to settle all unresolved marital issues before the final hearing in the court. The social worker or attorney often play the role of a mediator during divorce proceedings.

An Ideal Divorcing Partner for South Dakota Divorce Mediation

Any given divorcing partner is regarded as an ideal candidate for mediation, when the following conditions are met:

  • The partner has gone through a severe dispute with respective partner and unable to resolve it.
  • The partner wishes to resolve the dispute with the help of some reliable third party.
  • The partner is not reluctant to sit down and talk with the other partner to overcome the conflict.

Essential facts related to South Dakota Divorce Mediation

  • Mediation is an efficient method to assist couples involved in disputes to learn to converse and cooperate so that after the divorce, the lives of their children would be healthier, happier and peaceful
  • Mediation does not take the side of one specific party. However, all views are unbiased and fair given by the professionals.
  • The legal system is less equipped as compared with mediation to assist divorcing partners in case of the emotional aspect of separation
  • The adversarial process results in power struggles, resentment and continued conflict for a long time after the divorce and this can be prevented by mediation
  • It is strongly recommended to attempt mediation prior to opting for the adversarial way

Child abuse

As per the law in this state, there is a compulsion on mediators to report child abuse allegations if any such condition is present. In fact, if any such allegation is revealed during the mediation sessions, the mediator must promote self-reporting of the same. When the mediator concludes that the child is not in a safe environment, the mediator has to report the relevant data to the local Child Protection Agency. In case the mediator has the opinion that one or both divorcing partners might harm himself or herself or others, then it is the responsibility of the mediator to break the confidentiality of the mediation.

Expenses for mediation

The mediator charges the clients for the mediation sessions on an hourly basis. Excluding these, the other heads of expenditure under mediation are as follows:

  • Preparation of the mediation settlement agreement.
  • Discussions with the divorcing partners, their lawyers or other related individuals regarding the mediation. Their fixed charges for private meetings etc.
  • Long distance phone calls linked with the case.
  • Essential word processing work.

All such expenses related to mediation are expected to be paid before the next mediation session. Prior to the release of the Memorandum of Agreement, both the parties must pay all outstanding balances. One crucial advantage associated with mediation is that this process saves you from paying legal costs associated with general court proceedings of the state.

Role of Attorneys

After the mediation is complete, the mediator drafts a Memorandum of Agreement. This comprises of background data of the divorcing parties and the facts that are relied upon by these parties. The parties then submit this memorandum to their attorney for review and implementation of the decisions mentioned in it. The attorney may raise some new or omitted issues. If the parties fail to cooperatively resolve those, then these issues are returned to mediation.

The mediator is not a legal representative of either party. So, it is highly advisable that each party should have their own attorney who is supportive of the mediation. The parties would benefit by doing so as they would have better knowledge of the legal rights and responsibilities. This would definitely aid in the mediation process.

Divorce mediation in South Dakota can easily be conducted with the help of some experienced attorney present in the state who can provide an adequate guidelines as per the state laws.

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