Divorce is difficult to find yourself in, especially when you have been married for a long time or have children together. Dissolving a marriage adds additional stress to what is already a psychologically taxing time.
What is mediation, and can I use it instead of going to court?
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution, also known as ADR, where the parties get together with a mediator (and if they choose to, they can bring their attorneys) and attempt to reach an agreement together about how to handle the divorce, which can include anything from child custody to the separation of assets and whatever the parties want to discuss and find a solution to.
You can choose private mediation instead of going to court. This does not mean that you cannot hire an attorney. You can still hire an attorney; if both parties are willing, you can mediate your divorce.
Essential things to keep in mind about mediation
- Mediation is voluntary. Both parties must agree to it.
- Mediation is non-binding. However, if the parties agree and want it to be a contract, it can be filed with the court.
- Mediation is confidential.
- Mediation requires that the parties act in good faith.
- Mediators do not make decisions for the parties.
- The role of the mediator is to facilitate the conversation, provide structure and, at times, help the parties by offering prompts or possible solutions that could benefit both of them.
- Mediators aim to help the parties discover what their interests are.
Why should I mediate my divorce case?
There are plenty of benefits that mediation provides, including:
- Mediation is cost-effective
- Mediation is efficient and less time-consuming
- Mediation aims to solve problems while preserving the relationship between the parties
There is more than one option when it comes to how you go about the process of divorce. Understanding this can help you know that depending on the circumstances of your case, you can make choices. Divorcing another person does not have to create a war. Mediation exists to offer an alternative to the traditional adversarial process.