Divorce proceedings can be long-drawn, stressful and expensive. For this reason, many couples who can’t make their marriages work opt to only remain separated. Fortunately, there are other ways to divorce instead of having a long, nasty court battle that can cost thousands of dollars for each party. Mediation is a preferable alternative to divorce court for many couples.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process during which the divorcing parties hire a
trained neutral mediator to help facilitate an agreement that resolves their issues. The mediator is not an attorney and cannot force either spouse to agree to a settlement term they don’t want to. Instead, the parties negotiate on the terms they want and use the mediator to resolve a particular issue without forcing either spouse to “take it or leave it.”
Once the parties come to a resolution, the mediator will draft a mediation agreement that is essentially a binding contract if signed by both parties. If one party breaches any terms of the agreement, the non breaching party can go to court to enforce it.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
There are many benefits to using mediation to get a divorce. However, the process only works if both spouses are willing to compromise and work towards a settlement. Five reasons to try divorce mediation include:
- Mediation costs less than going to court. Mediation doesn’t require you to hire an attorney, making the divorce process much cheaper.
- Mediation is less agonizing than battling in court. Mediators can reduce the stress level for all parties involved in a divorce proceeding. Without a court proceeding and the need to formally present evidence, mediation addresses both parties’ goals of winning and devising an all-encompassing agreement.
- Mediation divorce helps divorcing parents achieve amicable co-parenting. When the parents don’t have to go to court to resolve their differences in a divorce process, they are able to better and more effectively co-parent.
- Mediation is a faster process than going to court. Battling a divorce in court can take months or even years to complete. Mediated divorce proceedings are much faster. Mediation agreements can be reached in a matter of a few months in most cases.
- Mediated divorces allow the parties – not judges – to make decisions. When divorcing couples are open to compromise, they are the ones who are able to decide on the terms of their divorce – not the judge.
But perhaps the most important reason to proceed with a mediated divorce is that it will allow the spouses to put their children first. With mediation, the divorcing parents are able to agree on important terms, such as child custody and child support, at a low-stress level, allowing them to think about the impact of their settlement terms on their children.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding or planning to file for divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.