No one wants to go through a divorce, but if you find yourself in this position, it's best to tackle the process in an efficient manner. This is why so many people turn to mediation as a better alternative to divorce.
There is no guarantee that mediation will work, but there are many benefits when compared to litigation:
- More control over the process, as you don't have to worry about a judge making decisions on your behalf
- An opportunity to discuss the matters at hand and compromise with your ex-spouse
- Less expensive than litigation
- Power to create an equitable divorce agreement
- Minimize hostility to make it easier to get along in the future, e.g., when co-parenting
How does it work?
The nice thing about divorce mediation is that you play a big part in the process. This may sound like a lot of work, but it's nice to know that you have the autonomy to make decisions that will be best for you, your ex and any children you may have.
During the first meeting, you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and the mediator will lay all the issues and points of contention on the table. This is your opportunity to clarify which issues need resolved. Often, those pertaining to property division, child support and custody present the most problems.
From there, subsequent meetings will advance the mediation process. Some couples are able to work through everything in a few meetings, while others require many sessions to reach accord.
Upon completion, you will have the opportunity to review the agreement with your legal team. This ensures that nothing slips through the cracks and you aren't making a poor decision you'll regret later.
Finally, the mediator will send the agreement to the court for its approval. As long as everything is legal and equitable, you probably won't have to appear in court yourself.
Even though there are many benefits to divorce mediation, it's not the right solution for everyone. For example, if one party is unwilling to negotiate and compromise, it's not going to work. This eventually results in the case moving to litigation, during which a judge has the power to make final decisions.
If you're interested in divorce mediation, pay close attention to the pros and cons, the process and your legal rights.