Nevertheless, going through a divorce isn’t something you’ll know how to do until you’re actually in it. One thing to consider is divorce mediation, which may have been mentioned as an option as you embark on the legal process of separating.
So, what is divorce mediation? Here’s what you need to know to prepare yourself for what’s ahead.
What is Divorce Mediation?
If you and your spouse are having trouble settling the terms of your divorce, then divorce mediation could be an essential resource for you both.
The mediator sets up a number of mediation sessions which both parties attend. In these sessions, you will meet with a family law mediator who will help you figure out the details of your divorce. They serve as a neutral party to assist in facilitating communication between the two parties and allow you to both listen to each person’s side. In the end, the mediator assists you in dividing up assets and debts, so everyone gets an equitable share.
The divorce mediation attorney will help you check out other post-divorce details of your life. It’s not just about property and debt — issues, such as, child custody, child support and spousal support will be discussed in mediation, too.
This doesn’t mean that your mediation lawyer will figure out everything for you. Instead, they are a neutral party, and they will assist you in brainstorming solutions that will work for your family. Many couples find success with mediation, and they draw up an agreement that they then take to court, making it legally binding.
Why Should I Choose Divorce Mediation?
There’s a reason why so many couples go through divorce mediation. It has plenty of advantages.
For starters, there’s the divorce mediation cost. Compared to a court case, mediation is much less expensive than hiring two attorneys to hash out the details of your matter in court — it’s one significant way to reduce the cost of the legal process.
Next, divorce mediation is entirely confidential. There will be no record of what you and your spouse discuss with your mediation lawyer.
In mediation, you and your partner can choose exactly how you want to split your assets rather than allowing a judge to make your divorce fit rigid legal standards. You are also encouraged to obtain a lawyer to review your mediation agreement and they can provide advice.
Another positive of divorce mediation is that it relies on open communication between you and your spouse. This will pave the way for a solid working relationship in the future, even if you are splitting up.
Finally, mediation very often ends in a successful division of assets and responsibilities between former partners. It helps fast-track your divorce, too — without contests in court and attorneys fighting for each side, and it’s much quicker to mediate your divorce and agree to your terms.
Who Should Avoid Divorce Mediation?
Although divorce mediation sounds like the best route when splitting from your partner, it won’t work for every separating couple.
A reason to take your divorce to court is if your spouse has a history of lying. For example, let’s say you suspect they have hidden some of their assets so that you get less than you deserve in the divorce. Again, the only way to make mediation work is if both parties are open and honest — if your ex is incapable of doing so, then take your divorce through the legal system instead.
On that note, some ex-partners will use mediation as a way to delay the divorce proceedings. Court-mandated meetings will force them to push things along, though, so don’t choose mediation if you think your spouse will manipulate the system.
Ultimately, these situations make up a small portion of divorces. So, most couples can — and should — choose mediation over legal divorce proceedings for all of the reasons mentioned in the above section.
How Can I Start My Divorce Mediation?
Now that you’ve read all of the above, you may have decided that divorce mediation is right for you and your spouse. As such, you’re now wondering how to get started with the process.
First, make sure your spouse is on board with the idea. If so, you can search for a mediation lawyer who can help you both get what you want — and deserve. Next, look for a mediator that understands your concerns and will work well with both parties. You and your spouse should contact the mediator and talk to them or meet with them to see if working with that mediator will work for both spouses.
Finally, if you have questions or need to hire a divorce mediator, consider Anna M. Petronzio as your mediator.