Mediation. Even though most divorcees have heard about it, many of them
don't necessarily understand what exactly mediation is—or the
purpose it serves in the divorce process.
We're here to help out. Whether you were required to go through mediation
by a judge or are considering various options before filing for divorce,
understanding the ins and mediation can help you choose the best way to
dissolve your marriage.
What Is Mediation?
In mediation, a mediator (often an active judge or attorney certified in
mediation) helps two parties compromise on terms for their divorce.
cannot give legal advice to divorcees. If you want to receive counsel during mediation,
you need to hire a dedicated mediation attorney.
Why Do So Many Courts Require Mediation?
Most family law courts see a court-ordered divorce decree as a worst-case scenario.
If two parties disagree on any aspect of their divorce, they engage in
what's called a "contested divorce." Parties can choose
to carry out their contested divorce in court, which involves multiple
hearings. If, after extensive attempts to negotiate, the divorcees still
can't compromise, the court will draft a divorce decree for them.
The divorce decree lays out terms for the divorce.
Most family law judges assume that divorcees what would be best for themselves
and each other better than the court. Given that assumption, most courts
try to avoid court-ordered divorce decrees whenever possible. Many family
law courts only actively pursue a contested, in-court divorce when an
action like domestic abuse has made it impossible for the two parties
to compromise effectively.
Going through a divorce in court also has other drawbacks. It's typically
more combative than an out-of-court divorce, which sets up a worse relationship
for divorcees post-divorce. Additionally, in-court divorces become a matter
of public record, which can harm the reputation of divorcees.
Mediation offers parties a way to peacefully resolve their divorce out
of court, negotiating mutually beneficial terms for the divorce.
Is Mediation Right for Me?
Mediation might be a good choice for you if:
- You're worried about the cost of divorce. Mediation is often thousands
or even tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than divorce.
- You know what you want to get out of the divorce. Mediation is usually
a relatively quick process, sometimes occurring over as little as one
session. If you know what you want out of a divorce, mediation can be
a great way to speed things up. On the other hand, if you're not sure
how to handle your divorce, mediation may feel a bit rushed compared to
other out-of-court alternatives like collaborative divorce.
- You want to remain on good terms with your soon-to-be-ex. Mediation is
all about collaborating to create a mutually beneficial arrangement with
your ex. As a result, it can lay a great foundation for a positive post-divorce
relationship with your ex, which can be beneficial if you share a child,
work together, or just want to stay friends.
- You trust yourself and your partner to engage in good-faith negotiation.
Mediation lives and dies on whether divorcees can openly and honestly
compromise with one another to create a mutually beneficial arrangement.
If you believe you and your soon-to-be-ex can do that, mediation may be
a great option for you.
At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, we're proud to offer mediation
services to our clients. We can help you and your partner develop terms
for your divorce that allow both parties to springboard into a happier,
healthier life post-divorce.
To schedule a consultation with our firm,
contact us online.