Ending your marriage is for the best. Both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse feel this way about the situation. As a result, you both also want to avoid the courtroom if possible and are interested in possibly moving forward with mediation as you learned about this method's pros and cons.
Of course, mediation involves many different facets. While you may already know that you and your current spouse will work with a mediator to come to terms for your divorce settlement, you may also want to know that smaller meetings, known as caucuses, will also play an important part in your mediation process.
What is a caucus?
As mentioned, the term "caucus" refers to a smaller meeting that takes place during the mediation process. When it comes to caucuses during divorce mediation, these smaller meetings give you the opportunity to separate from the other party and discuss any issues with your attorney. Additionally, the mediator will move back and forth between the two caucuses -- yours and your ex's -- in order to discuss terms. In a best-case scenario, the mediator would be able to find a middle ground between the parties on particular issues.
When does a caucus take place?
Caucuses can take place naturally during the mediation process when a particular issue needs private discussion. The mediator may also utilize caucuses if the group meeting starts to become too tense or heated. In this scenario, the smaller meetings can give each party time to cool off and reorganize their thoughts before continuing with the process.
A mediator may also want to use caucuses if he or she wants to present a possible outcome to each party separately. By gauging each individual's reaction to a proposed outcome, the mediator may have a better time determining what actions could help find a middle ground.
Are caucuses necessary?
During divorce mediation, caucuses typically are necessary in order for the process to work. While much of the proceedings may take place with all involved parties present to discuss issues, each party and the mediator also need time to think issues over privately. Additionally, caucuses can give you the time needed to ask questions or discuss any concerns you may have with your personal attorney.
If you are interested in finding out more information on how caucuses work, along with other aspects of mediation, you may want to utilize local legal resources.