Many divorcing or separating couples utilize mediation to resolve their issues. Utilizing mediation during the case can make reduce the cost of litigation if the parties come to an agreement before the final hearing (also known as trial). Some spouses choose to use mediation even before the case commences. This option can save a party a lot of time and money. Mediation is a process where the parties come together with a neutral third party that will draft the final agreement. This will often include something called a “Marriage Settlement Agreement” for spouses who are divorcing. The marriage settlement agreement, or MSA, will usually resolve all of the parties financial issues, such as alimony, division of all assets and liabilities. The marriage settlement can address issues such has who keeps the house, who is responsible or the mortgage and/or credit card debts, the cars, refinancing of loans into the other party’s name, the separation of retirement benefits, the items in the home, and so forth. Additionally, the parties can mutually decide on a “Parenting Plan”. An agreed parenting plan is an agreement by the parties about how the minor child will be raised. It can include language of what school the child will attend, or which parent’s home will be used for school designation, it can also decide which days the child or children will spend with each parent. It can address the holidays, birthdays, summers, and spring break sessions. There are a lot of factors to consider when planning for the future parenting of your children, and a well drafted parenting plan can save parents time and money when they are unable to agree on a decision regarding the child in the future. If parties are unable to agree on their case, they will go to a judge or a magistrate (a stranger) to decide their case. A mediator is a neutral third party that will not decide for the parents, just help facilitate an agreement that the parents agree to on their own terms. Divorce can be on your own terms. At Jarbath Pena Law Group, we can mediate a case between spouses and or parents. Call us today to schedule a consultation. We have competitive rates and look forward to discussing the different options with you.