When facing a messy divorce, you may assume that litigation is the only way to work through the finer details of your case. While this may be necessary at some point, you shouldn't overlook the benefits of mediation.
With divorce mediation, you and your soon to be ex-spouse are able to take control of the process from start to finish. Since there is no family law judge, it's your responsibility to negotiate and compromise on your way to settling every disagreement.
What are the benefits?
In addition to more control over the divorce process, there are other benefits of mediation:
- Less stressful and time-consuming than litigation
- Typically more affordable than litigation
- Opportunity to prevent additional hostility
These benefits should at least have you thinking about giving divorce mediation a try.
How does a mediator help?
Unlike a family law judge, a divorce mediator does not have the authority to make legally binding decisions. However, this person plays a crucial role in the process. They do all the following, plus more:
- Facilitate communicate between the individuals
- Asks questions to help clear the air
- Provides details of the legal system
- Identifies alternatives to addressing and solving issues
- Asks each individual for clarification, when necessary, to ensure clear communication
What to expect
During the first meeting, the mediator will facilitate a discussion allowing both individuals to lay out the issues at hand. From there, additional meetings are designed to negotiate and compromise on these issues, thus inching closer to a final agreement. Once all the details of the divorce are worked out, the mediator creates an agreement for both individuals to review.
Some divorcing couples are able to work through their issues in a few meetings over the span of several weeks, while others find that it takes several months to work everything out.
Even though divorce mediation is entirely different than litigation, you still have the legal right to consult with a family law attorney. Doing so gives you access to a legal team that can help you properly negotiate the terms and conditions of your agreement, while avoiding common mistakes.
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