Going through a divorce is already as overwhelming and troubling as it is, and when you couple it with a harsh and long court proceeding, it can take a toll on anyone’s mental and physical health.
A formal court proceeding that decides the distribution of a couple’s assets amongst themselves tends to turn into an ugly and contentious drama between the two parties, which can be a lot to bear for them in the long run.
In order to avoid such a situation, many parting couples opt for divorce mediation outside the courts.
What is divorce mediation?
Divorce mediation is essentially when parting couples try to reach an agreement with their ex-spouse on matters concerning property division, debt division, assets division, child custody, child support, visitation rights, spousal support, etc.
It essentially covers all aspects of and all decisions needed to be made when a couple parts their ways. In order to formally proceed with divorce mediation, couples need to decide whether they want to collaborate only with their lawyers in this matter, hire a professional mediator or hire a professional arbitrator.
While couples may initially be at a different space and conclusion, a professional and skilled mediator can help them see the errors of their ways and help them reach an agreement that would be mutually beneficial for both of them.
While in a court litigation there is always a winner and a loser, a divorce mediation eventually becomes a win-win situation for both parties.
What are the benefits associated with it?
Divorce mediation has a number of benefits associated with it in comparison to litigation, which include the following:
1. The couple remains in-charge
A major benefit of divorce mediation is the fact that both parties remain in-charge of the decision making process until a decision is arrived at. In litigation, once couples enter the system the court takes charge of the decision making process and both parties have to respect the court’s final decision.
2. Relationships remain amicable
A divorce mediation also ensures that the relationship between the spouses remains amicable, which is especially important if they are hoping to co-parent in the long run. It also helps children escape from daunting court proceedings requiring their testament or their opinions.
3. It is quicker and cheaper
A divorce mediation process is much faster-paced and quicker than a legal court proceeding that could take months – even years in some cases – to reach a decision. In addition to that, a legal court proceeding is likely to drain couples out of all their remaining assets whereas a divorce mediation is much cheaper to arrange, manage and execute.
What are the steps to divorce mediation?
The process of divorce mediation initially starts off by the mediator introducing themselves and laying down all the ground rules for the couple. Any protocols or concerns are also settled at this point. The mediator then also establishes any mutual or individual goals that may have been communicated to them earlier so that the couple is on the same page.
Each spouse then has a chance to present their version of the situation which allows the mediator to gather required information. The mediator then addresses the core issue, presents and bargains for an agreement and makes required amendments until both parties are satisfied.
The best solution is to hire an attorney with proper experience in this field. It is not a rare case that people are arguing over finances and other terms, which could lead to conflicts as well. Therefore, an expert who lives and works in the same state is the one who will find the best solution to keep your rights and make sure that both sides will be satisfied.
Moreover, you should check the price of this service and see if the same person can be an attorney at the court as well. In most cases, mediators are only advisors who are helping people to divorce while keeping both parties satisfied, at least at some level.
However, some professional attorneys are working as mediators as well, and the advantage of that option is that they will prepare all the paperwork needed to make the process faster and less complicated.
On the other side, it would be a great solution if the couple finds a way to agree on some terms ever before they speak to the mediator. This process can be frustrating and the common case is that both sides will try to get the most out of it. However, that approach will only make the whole process last longer.
Therefore, you should agree on things related to kids, current financial status, loans, debts, investments, properties, and more. Moreover, be sure to avoid fighting over a kid’s custody. Also, you will need to agree on who will continue to live in the home, who will pay the bills, and more. The mediator can help with all of this by providing advice from a neutral position with the focus on making both sides pleased by the outcome.
On the other side, both sides have to be prepared that they won’t get anything they planned. The mediator will work on fulfilling the agreements that won’t create an unpleasant situation for either side.
In that matter, you should focus on the key advantages of hiring this service, which is to get through this process much faster and find the best solution.
The Bottom Line
Going to a divorce can be stressful, and people often make some reckless moves or get into conflicts even over minor things. Also, if one side decides to sue another and demand some significantly higher rights, you have to know that there is a well-regulated law related to marriage and divorce. Therefore, you will only lose a lot of time on the court.
In case that you are having issues with setting the right agreement, the mediator is the one who can help people to find the best balance between their demands and finalize the divorce in the best possible way.
That is especially important if there are kids involved. It would be a mistake if you start fighting over kids since that will only harm them. In that matter, you should create a proper plan for who and when will hang out with children.