For most people, going through a divorce is an absolutely terrible experience. The legal process of divorce can be emotionally, not to mention financially, draining. Divorce mediation is becoming an increasingly popular way to resolve issues in a divorce in a less adversarial manner which can reduce stress and yield more mutually beneficial results. In divorce mediation, rather than both parties going to court and using a trial to resolve divorce issues, such as a property settlement, child support and child custody, the parties will sit down with a neutral third party, called a mediator. The mediator helps both individuals come to a resolution agreed upon by both parties. Whether the agreement is partial or complete, the parties are required to sign their agreement. Once they sign it, the agreement is binding upon them. Many courts require the parties to attend mediation prior to having a case set for trial.
Divorce mediation offers many advantages to a couple working through a divorce. The divorce mediation almost always takes less time than litigating a divorce, especially for those couples who haven’t worked everything out in advance of the divorce. Mediation helps spouses reduce the tension involved in a divorce. Also, couples who mediate are generally happier with the outcome than those who go to court, primarily because they feel like they were more directly involved in the outcome. The mediator can help couples with both immediate concerns and long-term concerns. Mediators can help focus couples on present issues, rather than bringing up hurts from the past that can be unproductive in reaching an agreement. Another benefit to mediation is that it is private, unlike a court case.
However, divorce mediation is not for everyone. If couples are behaving too poorly around each other to work together in the same room, mediation may not be the best bet. Some couples are dealing with domestic violence or substance abuse. In those situations, it might be best to have these matters heard only before the court.
If you are interested in learning more about divorce mediation, contact our law firm.