Many people who plan to divorce think no further than litigation, even though they dislike the idea of a public process in which a judge holds the keys to their future.
Another option is mediation: a process where a neutral point of view allows the couple room to create a workable settlement agreement and retain control of their own divorce.
Relying on expertise
If you and your spouse decide on mediation instead of litigation, you will meet privately with a mediator especially trained in this type of divorce process. The mediator may not provide legal advice but can impart information about the legal system.
If necessary, a mediator can also enlist the help of outside experts, such as wealth managers or parenting coordinators, to answer questions and help speed the mediation process along.
Hearing both sides
It is essential for the mediator to remain neutral and show no preference for the opinions or arguments of either divorcing party. Instead, the mediator will provide guidance to help the spouses work through conflicts. When sticky issues arise, the mediator provides various solutions to assist the parties in resolving their differences, so they can choose the best way forward.
Working toward goals
No matter their income level, divorcing couples find that mediation can help them achieve their goals in a respectful, cooperative manner. Three goals are uppermost for many participants: the division of assets and debts, the parenting plan and the matter of alimony and/or child support.
Mediation is a less stressful, less time-consuming and much less expensive divorce option. Experts report that it is much easier on children than the often contentious atmosphere that surrounds litigation.
Mediation occurs in a neutral environment in which both sides can voice their thoughts and where teamwork is essential. It is a way for two people to manage their own divorce, and, at the same time, form the foundation for future communications and workable family relations.