Is Divorce Mediation Right for You?

Are you at the start of the divorce process and want to know if mediation is the right choice for your situation? Mediation can be an amicable and cost-effective option, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with the concept first. Here are some key divorce mediation questions you may have.

Should You Try Mediation First?

Many experts recommend attempting mediation before filing a contested divorce. Mediation aims for win-win agreements, while litigation often becomes adversarial, win-lose battles. The confidential setting allows you to speak openly in mediation. Nothing you say there can be used later if you end up in court. Mediation also gives you control. You and your spouse craft settlements instead of leaving it to a judge. This can help you preserve your relationship as co-parents. Mediation is usually faster and cheaper too. Per our experts, the average mediated divorce takes five to 10 months and costs less in legal fees than litigated divorces. Of course, mediation won’t work for everyone. If there is domestic abuse or one spouse refuses to negotiate in good faith, litigation may be necessary.

What Happens in Mediation Sessions?

In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third-party mediator. The mediator facilitates discussions and helps you compromise. This process typically involves sharing finances and property information, developing a parenting plan if you have kids, negotiating division of assets and debts, and discussing spousal and child support. The mediator will draft agreements, then attorneys review them to ensure your interests are protected before signing. In many cases, the entire divorce can be finalized through mediation.

Is Mediation Right for Families with Children?

Especially if you have kids, mediation can help you transition to co-parenting smoothly. According to the Huffington Post, the divorce rate for couples who have children is 40% lower than those who don’t. So maintaining a cooperative relationship is critical. With a mediator’s help, you can create a detailed parenting plan that addresses custody, visitation schedules, and holidays. Focusing on the children’s best interests, instead of winning points against your ex, can lead to arrangements you both feel good about. Kids benefit when their parents are able to peacefully work things out.

As you weigh divorce mediation questions, think about your goals. If finding mutual agreement quickly and amicably is your aim, mediation can be an ideal choice. Being able to negotiate directly with your spouse in a neutral setting makes compromise easier to achieve. Call C.E.L. & Associates Inc for a consultation today and support during this process.