Divorcing is difficult. Clearly, there are issues between you and your former spouse, or you wouldn't be ending your marriage. However, if you think you can work through your issues to reach mutually beneficial compromises, mediation may be in your best interest.
Depending on how much disagreement you anticipate, both you and your spouse may wish to retain your own divorce attorneys. Then, you can all meet with a neutral third party to help determine the specific terms of your divorce. The third party mediator can guide you and your former spouse to compromise and form resolutions on specific issues.
Mediation has been growing in popularity recently, with good reason. Just because you and your former spouse don't currently agree on the terms of your divorce doesn't mean that such an agreement is impossible.
Mediation can be more fair and equitable in terms of asset division and custody. It can also prove to be substantially less expensive than a protracted divorce battle in family court. If you are considering divorce or have already filed, you may want to consider mediation as a way to resolve the issues between you and your former spouse. Mediation can give you more control over your divorce.
Mediation allows you to decide the terms of your divorce
When you go through the courts for resolution of your divorce, the judge has the ultimate say in the division of assets and child custody arrangements. You have little to no control over the final divorce decree. Such disempowerment can be nerve-wracking, particularly if you want custody of your children or have a lot of marital assets.
In mediation, you and your former spouse can decide all of the specific terms of your divorce, from who gets to keep the dog to the ownership of an investment property that has emotional relevance for both parties. Coming to an agreement protects you both.
Working with your own legal representation can be a way to ensure your best interests are protected during the mediation process. However, it is important to know before you sit down for mediation what issues and possessions are most important to you. Knowing when to hold your ground and when to compromise can make the mediation process simpler. A judge won't know which assets or custody terms are most important to you. Your attorney can push for a favorable divorce decree by helping you focus on your priorities during the divorce mediation process.
An attorney will protect your interests during mediation
Mediation is a means to have a better divorce outcome. When you and your former spouse agree to come to your own terms during a divorce, you can both win. Having your own legal representation, particularly if your former spouse has retained an attorney, is the best way to protect yourself and your interests during the process of mediation.