When couples divorce, there are a number of significant issues that must be worked out. These issues include the division of property, living situations, child custody and child support. A mediator can help divorcing spouses resolve their issues and come up with workable solutions without the cost and expense of going to trial.
Divorces do not need to be adversarial. Mediation can provide spouses with the space to express their individual concerns and needs. Mediators serve as impartial third-party facilitators to aid in the discussion and help the parties figure out the best outcome given their particular circumstances. The mediator helps to negotiate an agreement each spouse finds acceptable.
The Benefits of Mediation for Divorce Issues
There are many benefits to mediation for couples who are considering a divorce. Typically, working issues out in mediation is a far cheaper option than going to trial. Further, mediation offers a confidential means of conflict resolution, meaning there will be no public record of the issues. A successful mediation process can also help spouses improve communication, reducing the likelihood of future conflicts down the road.
How Does it Work?
The mediator will facilitate a discussion between the spouses and encourage them to come up with some solutions that address issues that are specific to their situation. The mediator cannot make decisions for the spouses. The spouses must reach an agreement during the mediation process. If they are unable to reach an agreement, it may be necessary for the couple to take their case to court and let a judge impose a solution.
The non-adversarial nature of mediation may actually lead some couples to reconcile and avoid divorce altogether. Occasionally, the lines of communication fostered by the mediation process may help the spouses take steps to resolve some of their differences. It is important to note that mediation does not function as a counseling session. Couples who are interested in reconciling should consider seeing a therapist to help them work on strengthening their relationship.
Do I Need to Hire a Lawyer?
Although it is not necessary to have a lawyer present for mediation, many people find it helpful to have a lawyer present to help them advocate for their needs. Divorce is a complicated, emotionally-charged process, and it is important that each spouse understands their rights. Divorce can have profound long-term financial consequences, so it is also important not to take the process lightly. Divorce lawyers can help determine what their clients are legally entitled to and help them protect their interests.
When Mediation is Not a Viable Option
While mediation is an excellent tool to facilitate a non-adversarial divorce, there are several reasons why it may not be a good option for some couples. When there is a history of abuse, addiction, or if a spouse is hiding assets, mediation may not be appropriate. Couples affected by any of these issues should consult with a divorce attorney to learn more about their legal options.
If you are considering divorce, contact Segarra & Associates, P.A. to help you get started. Our team of divorce attorneys can evaluate your situation and help you determine whether mediation may be a good option to facilitate your divorce agreement. Contact us today for a consultation!