Divorce does not involve two happily married people. It involves people who are hurt, angry, sad, scared and struggling. Because of this, the idea of divorcing peacefully and cooperatively can seem impossible.
But the truth is even when divorcing spouses do not get along or like each other, they can work together to resolve divorce-related matters in mediation. In fact, there are numerous benefits to taking this approach.
What is mediation?
People often imagine their divorce happening in a courtroom with a judge making decisions that will affect them for the rest of their lives. However, parties can avoid this by mediating their divorce.
With mediation, parties resolve legal disputes together and with the help of a qualified mediator, as well as their attorneys. Over the course of mediation sessions, divorcing spouses will discuss issues like child custody and support, property division and alimony and reach agreements together.
While it can seem impossible to make such critical decisions cooperatively in the heat of a divorce, it is not. Mediators are trained in facilitating communication and helping people find common ground.
What are the benefits of mediation?
Mediating your divorce has numerous benefits. Mediation allows parties to:
- Avoid the contentious, unpredictable nature of litigation
- Minimize the time and money necessary to navigate the divorce process
- Have more control over the outcomes
- Find creative solutions that best meet their unique situation
- Set a positive example for their kids
- Shield children from the stress of courtroom battles
- Keep details of the split private
- Preserve whatever respect, love or compassion that remains between parties
These benefits can make divorce easier throughout the process; they can also set the stage for a more cooperative, respectful relationship long after a divorce is final.
That said, mediation is not right for everyone. It may not be a realistic option for people who refuse to participate in the process, or if one or both parties have a history of violence or abuse.
Taking the next step
Whether you ultimately pursue mediation or not, you would be wise to consider all your options when it comes to settling your divorce. There are many routes people can take to get through this process. You can work with your attorney to find the approach that is best for you and your future.