After years of struggling, you and your spouse decide to end your marriage. But you’re still on fairly good terms with each other, and you don’t want a long, drawn-out process that will cost you time, money, and sanity. For a couple who find themselves in this situation, mediation can be a great option.
In this blog article, we’ll review how mediation works and explain some of the advantages and downsides. Keep reading to learn more!
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
In mediation, you and your spouse hire a neutral, third-party mediator. The mediator’s job is to review and resolve the issues in the divorce as fairly as possible.
Where a lawyer’s job is to protect the interest of their client, the mediator has no “dog in the fight.” They simply facilitate negotiation and try to help both parties reach compromises. In fact, the mediator doesn’t make any decisions at all. Instead, they make suggestions, and it’s up to the parties whether they reach an agreement or not.
Mediation is meant to offer couples a confidential alternative to taking their case to divorce court, where the process becomes very public and where the judge’s orders may not seem fair to either spouse.
Is Mediation Right for You and Your Spouse?
When you’re facing the uncertainty of divorce, it can be hard to understand your legal options and know which one is right for you. This is especially true when you’re trying to balance protecting your rights and property versus avoiding an expensive, drawn-out, bitter divorce.
Even during divorces that are less than friendly, mediation can still be an effective way to move forward. The key to a successful mediation is that both spouses show up ready to listen, communicate, and compromise.
Some of the benefits of mediation include:
Mediation Is Affordable
Mediation is affordable and typically ends up much cheaper than going through a divorce in court. Usually, each spouse pays for half the cost of the mediator.
Mediation Should Be Fair
With mediation, you and your spouse get to decide how to settle issues based on your own idea of what’s fair rather than having to accept a ruling handed down by the court. If you hire a skilled and experienced mediator, they should be able to balance both parties’ interests and reasonable arguments to create a compromise you both can live with.
Mediation Is Confidential
Everything that happens in mediation remains confidential. Even if you go to court later, no one can reveal what you or your spouse said in mediation.
Mediation Can Spare You Pain and Conflict
If children are involved in the divorce, you’ll probably have to maintain a relationship with your spouse for a long time. No matter how you feel about your spouse, it will be better for both you and your children if you keep that relationship civil and constructive. Mediation can spare both parties the conflict and emotional pain that comes with a court battle, which can leave you with a better foundation for a positive relationship with your ex.
Couples Can Still Hire Their Own Lawyers for Support
Spouses can (and should) still hire their own lawyers during mediation. The mediator’s job is different from your lawyer’s role. While the mediator works impartially to reach a compromise, your attorney will look out for your best interests, give you advice, and make sure you’re treated fairly throughout the mediation process.
When Mediation Might Not Be a Good Option
If your relationship with your spouse involves domestic violence or abuse (physical, emotional, or financial), mediation may not be a reasonable option. Many domestic violence and abuse situations involve emotional manipulation by the abuser, and victims can risk even further abuse if they open themselves up to their abusive ex via mediation.
The best way to decide whether mediation is right for you is to schedule a consultation with an experienced family law attorney and ask about it. Only an attorney can listen to your unique story and give you personalized expert advice about your case.
Facing Divorce in North Carolina? Call Myers Law Firm
If you or someone you love is facing divorce, separating through mediation with the support of a lawyer may be a good option. At Myers Law Firm, we support our clients through each step of the divorce process and explore every option to get them the best outcome we can.
If you have questions about your divorce case, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll meet with you in a confidential consultation and help you understand your rights and options.
We look forward to hearing from you!
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.