Spouses considering divorce have a lot to consider before filing. Spouses must itemize their property, calculate their contributions, figure out where to sleep, and all while possibly managing confused and worried children. These factors can make divorce a daunting challenge for anyone.
Thankfully, couples have ways of making their divorce cheaper, faster and easier. Couples may consider using mediation for all, or parts, of their divorce negotiations.
Mediation provides many benefits to willing spouses
Couples must understand that mediation only works for those willing to compromise. The alternative dispute resolution focuses on mutual understanding and communication to draft divorce agreements together. Couples may use mediation to draft a parenting agreement and still use traditional courtroom litigation for property division. These decisions are up to the couple, the judge and their lawyers.
Couples who choose mediation will enjoy the following benefits:
- Choice of mediator: The role of the mediator is to facilitate conversation, not deliver judgments. A mediator guides the negotiations toward mutual understanding, teaching communication and learning tools that prioritize empathy and compromise.
- Easy to schedule: Courts schedule civil suits when they can, often prioritizing violent crimes. A divorcing couple may wait weeks or months before their initial hearing, only to wait again. With mediation, couples can schedule their negotiations whenever, and wherever, is convenient.
- Less expensive: Without a courtroom, a court will not charge court fees. Some courts even cover the cost of a mediator. Most lawyers charge reduced rates for mediated divorces as well.
- Confidential: Court reporters record, and enter into the public record, everything said inside a courtroom. Should the couple return to court in the future with a new dispute, things said in previous disputes can return to haunt spouses and their families. In mediation, the only record is the agreement. All else remains confidential.
Legal counsel can help further
Spouses with questions about divorce can find answers with a local attorney familiar with family law. A lawyer can help find an appropriate mediator, work with the courts and draft a comprehensive agreement that satisfies all parties.