When you were married, you and your spouse made relationship decisions together. Now that you’ve both accepted that the marriage is over and divorce is the best outcome, you may be worried that all the decisions will now be in someone else’s hands, namely a judge.
You can’t be blamed for feeling this way. Court TV shows and movies like Kramer vs. Kramer and The War of the Roses give the impression that divorce is adversarial by default. While litigation may be necessary in some cases, there are many alternatives when you and your spouse are willing to work together.
One of them is mediation, which is a sharp contrast to litigated divorce. There’s no courtroom, no bitter arguing in front of a room full of strangers, and no drawn-out, expensive succession of court dates.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a process that allows you and your spouse to decide the terms of your own divorce. Both of you meet with a neutral third party called a mediator, who will help you resolve important issues like property division, parenting arrangements and child support, and spousal support. Although you will each be represented by a divorce attorney, you are the ones in charge of the decisions that affect your family, finances, and future.
If there is difficulty reaching an agreement, your attorney and the mediator and provide insights or guidance that can bring about a successful conclusion. The goal is to end your marriage as amicably as possible and at a lower cost than a litigated divorce.
While mediation has several benefits, there are six advantages that are especially meaningful.
1. Mediation Benefits Children
You know how hard divorce is on you. In many ways, it can be even harder on your children. Mediation is less stressful than litigation, so it fosters a more peaceful home environment during the divorce. Your kids will benefit from seeing you and your spouse cooperating and being civil even when you disagree with one another.
2. Mediation Is Empowering
When you litigate, the court makes the decisions that impact your future and that of your children. With mediation, you and your spouse retain that control. Both of you are empowered to reach an agreement that is in everyone’s best interests, which will likely leave you happier with the outcome and going forward into your new life.
3. Mediation Is Respectful
With mediation, there are no “winners” or “losers.” Instead, you work with your attorney and the mediator to achieve solutions that benefit everyone, especially the children. During negotiations, the emphasis is on respectful communication and being open to compromise.
4. Mediation Is Convenient
When your divorce is governed by the litigation process, you have to appear in court when required. Mediation allows you and your spouse to coordinate a date and time that works for you and the professional.
5. Mediation Is Affordable
Mediation is nearly always more cost-effective than litigation. When both sides work together, it can significantly decrease the time needed for the parties and attorneys to gather the necessary information. You can use the money saved, to do the things that help you and your family, as you start a new chapter in your life – maybe redecorate your home, take a vacation with the kids, or simply save for the future.
6. Mediation Is Private
Your family situation is uniquely personal and deserves to stay private. While divorce litigation becomes a matter of public record, mediation keeps the details of your divorce confidential and protected.
At Bliss Law Group, our goal is to complete your divorce in a way that is respectful, efficient, and cost-effective for you. For more information about mediation, and other dispute resolution alternatives to litigation, please call 253-844-4412.