Divorce can be a complicated process that all too often brings out the worst in people. Worse yet, the whole process often gets dragged out in court. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. An increasing amount of couples are opting for divorce mediation as opposed to the traditional process. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is what is known as an “Alternative Dispute Resolution” method, or “ADR”, in the legal world. While it does still involve attorneys and often additional mediation experts, it can save both time and money (more about that below). The process also does not involve a judge, instead having the couple work through the divorce themselves through mutual agreement. It is important to know that both members of a couple must agree to go through mediation, as it is a voluntary process.
Who is Mediation a Good Choice For?
Couples don’t necessarily have to be on amicable terms when they decide to go through mediation, but they do have to be willing to work together to make the divorce as painless as possible. And again, it is an exceptionally good option for those who want to save time and money by avoiding the need to go to court. While attorneys are still involved, the cost for mediation is still typically less than the usual divorce process simply because there are no costs associated with trial and litigation and the process is not usually drawn out for many months or in some cases, years.
The Bottom Line
It is important to realize that while mediation is usually a less painful process, this doesn’t mean it is entirely easy. This is because all settlements that are reached during the process have to be mutually agreed upon by both parties. In rare cases, mediation is not successful, and the ongoing disagreements must then be settled in court. Still, the majority of couples find that mediation is a smoother, more civil way to handle divorce. When you’re ready to explore this option, it’s time to reach out to an experienced and understanding family law attorney.