It's possible that one of the reasons you are ending your marriage is because you are tired of confrontations with your soon-to-be former spouse. Perhaps the thought of spending time arguing about your divorce issues in court makes your stomach churn and your head hurt. At this point, you may want to avoid the courtroom all together and find another way to handle the situation.
You don't have to rely on the traditional, adversarial system in order to finalize your divorce. You and your spouse could agree to try mediation first.
Is mediation a viable option in your case?
In order for mediation to work, both of you must agree to the process. Each of you needs to feel comfortable expressing your opinions and asking for what you want. Neither of you should fear the other or refuse to compromise. If you both can work together in good faith to reach an agreement, then mediation could work for you.
What can mediation accomplish in your case?
Using mediation to resolve your marital issues provides numerous advantages:
- It creates a more hospitable atmosphere.
- It often reduces confrontations post-divorce.
- It spares you the stress and drama that often accompany going to court.
- It provides neutral ground and promotes an atmosphere of compromise and cooperation.
- It is often less costly than litigation.
- It allows you to retain control of the outcome.
The mediator does not make any decisions for you. His or her job is to keep you on track and provide you with information regarding how a court may decide a particular issue. He or she may also come up with alternatives that you may not have thought of on your own.
In addition, most people make more of a concerted effort to abide by the terms of the final agreement since they created it, which could head off any potential conflicts in the future. You can use mediation to resolve all of your divorce issues, including property division, custody and support matters.
Do you still need support in your case?
One thing your mediator cannot provide you is legal advice since he or she does not represent you or your spouse. You may still want to secure your own representation in order to understand and protect your rights throughout the process. An attorney will also help ensure that your final agreement meets with the court's approval.