The decision to divorce is difficult enough. Once you decide to divorce, there are various choices about the attorney you decide to hire and whether the divorce can be settled through mediation.
Once you choose mediation as the means to settle your divorce, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will work together with the mediator to reach an amicable resolution to the pending issues of the dissolution of your marriage. The mediator will remain neutral between the husband and the wife. That means the mediator can’t give advice to either party and also can’t act as a lawyer for either party. This open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence. Because both spouses are working with the same base of information, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to both spouses.
With mediation, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to both spouses.
So why choose mediation?
1. Mediation is less expensive
The most common reason is the expense of mediation can cost much less than litigation. You and your spouse would hire one individual to assist you in your mediation. Mediation is flexible and confidential. It gives you and your spouse a way to settle your conflict in a way that helps you to work together as parents after your divorce.
2. You have control over the outcome
Another main reason to choose divorce mediation is the amount of control it affords you. When you litigate, you put all of the decisions regarding your future in the hands of someone you don’t know and who really doesn’t know you — the judge. Oftentimes there may be no choice but to litigate. However, if it’s possible, mediation can be a very good alternative for all parties involved — especially children.
3. Mediation is better for the children
The worst aspect of a divorce for children is the conflict between the parents. The outcome is traumatic enough for them, but they can heal knowing that their parents are working together to make adult decisions and will not put them in the middle. Mediation allows you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to make decisions regarding the custody and visitation of your children. You both know your children and your situation better than any other individual and therefore, can make the best decisions. Mediation also helps the process of making decisions regarding property division and financial affairs.
4. Mediation minimizes the emotional toll of divorce
The way your marriage ends will significantly impact the way you approach your future relationships. When you use a mediator to help both of you communicate and make important decisions, it can be easier to move forward and accept the past, rather than turning hurt and anger into an expensive court battle. A mediator trained in counseling can assist the parties in acknowledging feelings but not allowing feelings to control the decision-making process.
5. Going to court is still an option
If you choose divorce mediation, it does not mean you give up your right to go to court. If you are not satisfied in mediation, you can stop at any time, retain a separate attorney and have the judge decide the issues. Whatever occurs during the mediation process will remain confidential, so the parties can start fresh.
If You Choose Mediation
While mediation isn’t the only alternative to a unfavorable divorce experience, it is one to seriously consider. If you decide that mediation is for you, it is recommended to use a family law attorney as the mediator.
These attorneys know and understand the rules of divorce and a good divorce attorney will have a grasp on the type of decision a judge could make, if the matter is litigated. Therefore, they can serve as a good sounding board to offer opinions and suggestions on how best to settle your case.