If you are facing the end of your marriage, you may start to realize the many tasks that lay ahead. There are property division issues, child support payments to negotiate and custody agreements for starters. You may wonder if an alternative exists to the unhappy court battles you have seen depicted in the movies or witnessed in your own life.
For some, there is a more cost-effective solution, especially for individuals who can work with their spouses to resolve their differences. This route is known as divorce mediation. Divorce mediation allows you and your soon-to-be ex to work together with a third-party mediator to help create a fair settlement on which you both can agree.
Understanding divorce mediation
Divorce mediation aims to provide a mutually acceptable divorce agreement with minimal hostility, reduced expense and a simplified legal procedure. Mediation also allows a couple to exert more control over the outcome and details of the settlement. As courtrooms continue to be busy and overburdened in many locations, mediation provides a way to resolve issues outside the courtroom.
Why choose divorce mediation?
During mediation, a neutral party facilitates discussions between the two divorcing parties. Among the goals of mediation are reconciliation, understanding and settlement. In family law matters, the two parties, especially if they are parents, will probably continue to maintain contact, so mediation can help preserve an amicable relationship. A litigated divorce can be financially and emotionally costly, but mediation helps to reduce both by speeding up the process. Mediation also offers privacy and confidentiality, unlike contested divorce litigation.
When divorce mediation isn't a good fit
The neutral third-party technique isn't for everyone. If one party can't speak freely because of fear, or if the two parties are not able to communicate without hostility or emotional outbursts, other means of ending the marriage may be necessary. In cases where there will be complex property division or financial separation, some experts have indicated that mediation may not be the best fit.
Where to turn for support
Preparing for your single life can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be so. If you feel ready to tackle dissolving your marriage, and you think that working with your soon-to-be ex and a mediator could work, you may be ready to reach out for help. An experienced family law attorney who specializes in mediation can evaluate the situation, and work alongside you in choosing a fair and equitable solution when finalizing your divorce.