Mediation is a way to resolve legal disputes without having to go through the court system or appear before a judge. The purpose of mediation is to save you time and money, while also giving you more control over the outcome of your case.
During mediation, you will sit down with a neutral third party who is trained in dispute resolution. Their job is to help you talk through any issues related to your divorce and help identify agreeable solutions.
You do not have to see your spouse or ex during mediation. You can choose to be in separate rooms the entire time and the mediator will go back and forth between the rooms. If you are mediating over Zoom, you can be in separate "breakout rooms" so you do not see each other.
Mediators are not like judges. When you go through the Court system and go to trial, a judge will listen to both sides of the case and then render a decision. The parties are then forced to comply with whatever the judge decides.
Mediators do not have power to force you to accept a certain outcome. Their job is to help develop options, which you can then choose to accept or reject.
In Utah, mediation is required before a judge will hear your divorce case. Therefore, before you can set a "trial date," you must at least attempt to resolve your case through mediation first.
However, it is not required to attend mediation if don't plan to go all the way to trial. If you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on your own (or with the help of attorneys), then you can skip mediation all together and simply file your divorce paperwork with the Courts.
The length of a mediation depends on how many issues need to be discussed, how close together the parties are on the issues, and how well the parties are able to negotiate. Some mediations last only one or two hours. Others can take as long as twelve hours.
In most cases, it is a good idea to block off an entire day for mediation so you have as much time as you need to discuss the issues and find potential solutions.
Unless you and your spouse / ex agree otherwise, you will split the cost of mediation equally. The fee is normally collected at the end. Attorneys typically do not cover the cost of mediation.
See more information about pricing.
You do not have to have a lawyer in order to participate in mediation. However, it is always advisable to have an attorney if you can afford one. Attorneys know the law, can advise you on your rights, and can act as advocates for you.
If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be able to qualify for free representation through Legal Aid Society or Utah Legal Services.
If you choose not to hire an attorney, you can still meet with a mediator and act as your own representative.
If your spouse has an attorney, you do not have to hire one yourself. There is no legal requirement to be represented by an attorney during the divorce process. However, it may be to your advantage to hire an attorney if you can afford one. (See above for more information.)
You can use a mediator to help resolve any type of family law issue. This includes paternity cases, child support issues, custody issues, alimony, property division, debt division, relocation, disputes about schooling, etc.
There are also mediators who specialize in non-family issues, such as business disputes, housing issues, and personal injury cases.
Normally, the only people who attend mediation are you and your attorney, if you have one. Occasionally, people will wish to include their new spouse or significant other, a parent, or another person to provide emotional support. In some cases, it may be appropriate to involve financial professionals, mental health professionals, or other divorce professionals in a mediation. You should talk with your mediator and/or attorney beforehand to discuss these options.
It is generally not encouraged to bring children to mediation, and some mediators may refuse to work on your case if children are present. This is done out of a desire to protect children from the conflict that is on display during mediations.
If you're ready to schedule mediation, you can visit the Scheduling page on this website.
If you have an attorney, they can tell you what specific things you need to bring to your mediation. If you don't have an attorney, some helpful things may include your most recent pay stubs, tax documents, or any prior Court Orders related to your case, such as a Divorce Decree or Parentage Decree.
If you have other questions, you can contact the mediator by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Friday 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
288 West Center Street
Provo, Utah 84601
Mediations can be held in person or via Zoom