Whether this is your first divorce or you’ve been around the block a few times, the process is never an easy one. From the emotional impact to the legal battle ahead, the stress can be all too much to bear. There are ways to help alleviate that stress, though. Did you know that hiring a third party to act as a mediator can help?
While the practice is incredibly common, most people are unaware that hiring a mediator is a possibility. If you’re on the fence about whether one of these professionals can help, then here’s something from Common Cents Mom about how a mediator can assist with your divorce.
There are plenty of benefits to hiring a mediator. Instead of having you read a college essay on the subject, here are some quick facts on how these professionals can help.
- Compared to a court trial, mediation is far less expensive.
- The goal of mediation is to reach a settlement that resolves the issues of your divorce.
- Instead of reaching a rigid legal solution, part of your settlement is to end the marriage on favorable terms for both parties. You and your spouse control the process.
- You can bring your legal counsel to the mediation sessions to help ensure your terms are met
- There are no public records of your sessions. Your mediation is entirely confidential.
- Mediators work to improve communication between both parties, which may help to avoid future conflicts.
For these benefits to be effective, both parties have to show up willing to cooperate. That might seem impossible based on the circumstances of your separation, but you might be surprised at how your former lover responds. Most people want to avoid the nuisance of heading to court.
Understanding the Mediation Process
While every mediator is different in how they handle the process, there is a general flow of events you can expect. Everything starts with a phone call where you provide background info on your marriage and the issues surrounding your divorce.
After the mediator receives enough information, you meet them in their office to discuss the next steps. This stage involves learning more about what outcomes you are hoping for and what accommodations must be made for each party. That might include Spanish to English interpretation from a bilingual family law firm or assistance for a handicap.
If you feel comfortable with the process, then you sign an agreement and prepare for a full meeting that includes your spouse and possibly your lawyer. The agreement might include a “no court” clause, ask both parties to keep discussions confidential, or that your talk will not devolve into screaming matches. In the meantime, speak with your attorney about how you can secure positive terms during mediation.
Hiring a Mediator
If you and your spouse can meet under the same roof and discuss this process calmly, then mediation is in both of your best interests. Not only does it save money and time, but it helps you reach a more favorable agreement. With the benefit of an attorney at your side, you can walk away from this relationship with your head held high.