Many divorcing couples are under the impression that litigation is the only way to work through their issues and legally put their marriage in the past. While it's an option, divorce mediation is also something to strongly consider.
There are various benefits of mediation, including but not limited to:
- Ability to create a mutually beneficial divorce agreement
- Minimize hostility, which helps with co-parenting
- Minimize the expense associated with litigation
- Typically more time efficient than litigation
- Both individuals maintain more control over the process
Will it work for you?
There is no way of knowing if divorce mediation will work for you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse, so the only way of finding out is to give it a try. When you prepare accordingly and position yourself for success, you're more likely to work through the many details of your divorce without the need to face off in court.
Along with the benefits above, divorce mediation positions you to find common ground on all issues pertaining to your split. This can include property and debt division, child custody, child support and alimony.
What to expect
The divorce mediation process differs from one couple to the next, but it typically includes the following:
- During the first meeting you'll sit down with the other individual and your mediator to talk through your concerns and list out the issues you need to resolve
- Subsequent meetings are when you'll negotiate and compromise on the issues at hand
- The mediator will help push the process forward and maintain the peace, but they're not permitted to make legally binding decisions on your behalf (unlike a family law judge)
You shouldn't expect everything to go smoothly. Just the same, you shouldn't expect to work everything out in one session. To reach your goals, it's critical that both individuals are open to negotiation and compromise.
Even though the atmosphere associated with mediation is less tense than litigation, don't expect everything to go off without a hitch. You still need to prepare accordingly and protect your legal rights, as the decisions you make in mediation will impact you both in the short and long term.