Though couples going through a divorce might feel that a hiring a lawyer is required, this is not always the case. In some scenarios, having your divorce mediated can be an effective alternative. Many couples choose mediation to avoid legal entanglements and high expenses since the cost of a U.S. divorce varies from $15,000 to about $42,500.
However, choosing divorce mediation is not right for everyone. Before you decide whether to seek a divorce attorney or a mediator, use this guide to determine which is right for your situation.
The Five Principles of Divorce Mediation
Before making your decision, it might be helpful to have a more thorough understanding of the mediation process. When having your divorce mediated, a neutral professional will sit down with you and your spouse to calmly help you reach an agreement about the terms of the divorce. The mediator does not seek to help one spouse over the other, unlike an attorney; their goal is to keep each party equally informed and to come to a conflict-free separation solution.
The five principles of divorce mediation include:
- Voluntary Participation: No party is forced to agree to having a mediator.
- Privacy: Mediation involves only the two parties and necessary professionals.
- Confidentiality: Mediators sign an agreement to not disclose information with others, unless the divorcing couple gives the mediator permission.
- Self-Determination: The mediator only offers advice, and does not enforce any resolutions. The parties involved make their own decisions and hold one another accountable.
- Informed Decision-Making: Mediators help separating individuals understand their options regarding custody, financial separation, and more, so that they can find an logical solution to their conflict.
Divorce mediation sounds promising. Will it work for us?
Divorce mediation offers nearly any separating couple the chance to make their own decisions and come to peaceful conflict resolutions. However, mediation is most successful in certain situations. For example, mediation requires that each party trusts the other to keep their promises and remain respectful.
Divorce mediation is not a counseling service. Though it can be a great way to leave a marriage peacefully, mediators cannot offer emotional advice. It’s recommended that divorcing couples ensure they are in a stable emotional and spiritual state before seeking divorce mediation.
Divorce mediation is possible in almost any situation, so long as both parties are willing to participate. For more information about having your divorce mediated in the Chicago area, contact C.E.L. and Associates today.