Divorcing is a painful, expensive and complicated step, although it is less so since the reform of the law in 2005.
Then the obligation to go through a process of separation prior to divorce was abolished and a new figure was created, family mediation, designed to help solve the divorce in the least controversial way possible.
Apart from state law, most of the autonomous communities have been developing and defining more precisely the figure of mediation, so that
This service is provided with nuance in each of them.
But the ends pursued by mediation are the same everywhere:
Reduce the emotional and economic damages resulting from divorce.
Protect the interests of minors who may be involved.
Minimize the disagreements between the spouses, creating the conditions for dialogue and communication.
Outside the courts
Divorce mediation is a process voluntarily going to the couple who is going to divorce, to establish by mutual agreement the terms of their divorce, with the help of a mediator and without the need to go to a trial where it would be the judge who would make the decisions.
If the divorce mediation is fruitful and the members of the couple reach an agreement, the mediator will draft a document that expresses it.
This document, a draft regulatory agreement, will then have to be attached to the divorce petition filed with the courts and will be examined by a judge, who will ensure that the law is respected and that none of the parties involved (spouses or children, if any) has been harmed.
If the judge approves and approves it, the agreement will have the same validity as if it had been issued by the judge after a contentious process.
Mediation is supervised by a qualified person (the mediator) to guide two people who have difficulty understanding Solutions that satisfy both as much as possible and respect legality.
The law requires the mediator to be active and to be impartial and neutral.
That is to say, it is not a mere spectator, but must stimulate and direct the negotiations, without taking sides and without imposing its own solutions.
In addition, you are required to maintain confidentiality about the process and to be faithful to your task.
If these principles are not followed and damages and losses are derived for other persons, the injured parties may demand compensation for civil liability.
The law also requires that the mediator be specifically qualified to mediate.
The autonomic regulations are more precise than the state and require specific degrees, which vary from one to another: degree in law, psychology or pedagogy, diploma in social work, social education…
Everything is advantages
The agreements obtained under the auspices of a family mediator have many advantages:
Being a mutually agreeable arrangement is less traumatic, as each party sees its will reflected to some extent.
This favors the fulfillment of the agreements, which nevertheless fails more frequently when the judge decides for the contenders, especially what they previously shared (property, housing, business and, above all, children), leaving none satisfied.
The agreement must be reached in a short period that varies from one region to another; being generally three months exceptionally renewable for another three, although there are differences between communities (the process can be extended at least three months in the Balearic Islands, four in Cantabria or five in Valencia).
Mediation usually makes divorce a lot cheaper, at least when compared to contentious processes, in which each spouse needs a lawyer and a solicitor.
There are no pre-fixed rates, but they are agreed in advance with those who request it.
The usual thing is that the price varies depending on the number of sessions needed to reach an agreement, how many professionals intervene, etc.
However, given the advantages of the system, some communities and entities are promoting free mediation services.
At the cost of mediation it is necessary to add that of a single lawyer and a solicitor, that they process the divorce petition before the judge attaching the agreement obtained through mediation, since it is not possible to file a claim of this type without the intervention of these professionals.
In short, if your spouse and you have determined to dissolve your marriage and you are able to define the coordinates of divorce by mutual agreement, it is best to ask in the social services of your community for the existing family mediation services and their cost.
Depending on the place of residence, the available mediation services can come from the professional associations of lawyers, town halls, councils…
Also to review agreements and contentious
Any couple can request mediation when they are still preparing their divorce, in order to reach an agreement and present it together with the divorce petition, so that the judge evaluates and ratifies it.
But, in addition, already divorced couples can request a mediation if, for example, they wish to submit a demand to modify some of the measures agreed in the past.
Even those who are already involved in a contentious process, can voluntarily request mediation as a last chance to understand each other for good.
The judge himself may propose to the contenders, during the contentious process, that they use the mediation services.