If you are preparing for divorce or are in the midst of your divorce, you know how emotionally taxing divorce can be. You may be experiencing an array of emotions such as grief, frustration and anger. While eve...
What Makes A Couple A Good Candidate For Divorce Mediation?August 6, 2018 - Relationship Articles
By Judith Goldberg
Deciding between divorce mediation, arbitration, and settling on a court date can be difficult. But divorce mediation should be considered in nearly every situation in which two spouses seek to separate. Divorce mediation has the lowest average cost and focuses on the expenses of the divorce itself. It allows the couple to agree to the settlements themselves, and they can choose to seek or end divorce mediation during nearly any portion of the process.
It Can Be Cheaper Than the Engagement Ring
Couples who want a relatively inexpensive divorce should first consider divorce mediation. Hiring a lawyer and paying legal fees isn’t required in divorce mediation, and the process of divorce mediation itself usually includes a discussion about how to pay for the session, and what assets might be sold or used to pay for the divorce. After that, both sides begin discussing who will receive what assets, with their minds at ease about the cost of the divorce process itself.
Often, the cost of divorce mediation can be covered by the expenses of the initial engagement ring. Couples may decide assets that are strictly bound to the relationship, like the rings, are unnecessary and may decide whether that money is used for the mediation costs, or whether they want to store it for a later purpose such as a child’s college fund. One purpose of mediation is to allow each spouse to put a value on items and take inventory of what the truly care about.
Couples Seeking A Quick, Non-Combative End
A good couple for divorce mediation is one that still maintains a friendly or working relationship. In civil court, both sides are forced to hire lawyers, whose focus is to establish that one side has been victimized over the other. This focus on receiving the best possible outcome for their client at the expense of the other party can deteriorate relations, and decisions such reparations or support payments become binding agreements that ignore job status or other key factors.
The choice to use divorce mediation over litigation or arbitration is also more beneficial for parents. Statistics suggest that four in five couples who use the mediation process are less likely to fight in the ensuing months after the proceedings are finished. The civil nature of a divorce mediation process can mean parents are more likely to share custody, and children reported seeing fewer violent outbursts or arguments between the spouses during that time frame.
Couples Who Want Power Over the Discussion
To reiterate, divorce mediation is a civil agreement, whereas arbitration is mandated by the court or law, and litigation is the final legal step. In fact, couples can choose to opt into divorce mediation at any time during the arbitration or litigation process. And if they feel the mediation isn’t helping, they can end it at any time. Couples whose divorce involves no legal disputes should always seek divorce mediation first, and rarely or never seek litigation at all.
During the mediation process, the only people required to be present are the two spouses and the mediator. So, if a couple wants privacy for their divorce, divorce mediation can allow them to settle without the presence of lawyers, relative, or others who might seek third party interests. The mediator can suggest agreements and propose ways to distribute assets, but only the two spouses have the power to approve or agree upon any of the discussions, not the mediator.
Why Choose Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is one of the cheapest ways to settle a divorce dispute; so cheap that the cost of an engagement ring can often cover the meetings. It is less likely to put a strain on the children of divorcing couples and can even involve a discussion about their futures and financial planning. Couples with working relationships, couples who aren’t seeking legal action against one another, and couples seeking to minimize cost may all benefit from divorce mediation.
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