Divorce Mediation: An Alternative to Court
Couples who are willing to discuss how they will proceed with their divorce may consider mediation as an alternative to filing a lawsuit. Through mediation, the process may not only be significantly shorter than going through the courts, as it may also be a more cost effective option for both parties.
Issues addressed in divorce mediation
During the mediation process, the couple attempts to reach an amicable settlement on their concerns, such as division of assets, child support and custody, retirement, taxes and others. They work out the specifics of their divorce with the help of a mediator. Divorce mediation enables the couple to have arrangements as they see fit, which can work better for them.
The role of mediators and lawyers
The role of the mediator is to facilitate the sessions, making sure that the couple maintains open communication about resolving issues. The mediator does not side with any of the spouses, but may suggest ways in dealing with tough sticking points. The mediator cannot provide legal assistance to any of the spouses, even if the person is a lawyer.
Though excluded from the sessions, the spouses should still have their own lawyers going into divorce mediation. This way, the spouses can consult their individual lawyers before or after the mediation sessions for any matters that may be unclear to them. The lawyers can also review the resulting mediation agreement before the parties sign it.
The biggest advantage of divorce mediation is the privacy it affords the divorcing couple. With the mediator’s assistance, the couple works out what they think is best for them, especially on matters which can impact them well after they lead their separate lives. Divorce mediation may be a more amicable way of settling differences, but the spouses should not overlook the importance of having a trusted legal advisor working for their best interests.