Ending a marriage and splitting up the family unit is a highly emotional experience. Just thinking about going through a painful proceeding in divorce court is mind-numbing.
You may consider mediation as an alternative to traditional divorce. This is a process that comes with less stress and provides couples with much more control over the outcome.
How it works
If you choose this divorce option, you and your spouse would meet with the mediator, a neutral third party, who would offer guidance and assistance in developing an agreement and accessing the legal information you need. Mediation sessions take place in more informal surroundings outside the courtroom, and no judge will be present. The mediator helps steer negotiations in a positive direction and works to resolve roadblocks and keep communications open.
Looking at the advantages
Couples can work together on a divorce agreement that satisfies both participants without court interference. Mediation is a much shorter process than traditional divorce, much less expensive and far less stressful. Studies show that it is also easier on children, who are often upset by the anger and bitterness that arise in courtroom battles. Remember that despite your divorce, you will always be parents. Because couples must communicate openly and respectfully, mediation also provides a solid foundation for family relationships going forward.
Not for everybody
Some people are not good candidates for mediation; for example, those addicted to alcohol or drugs, or those who have a history of emotional or physical abuse. Couples who cannot get along and are unwilling to compromise are not suited for mediation. For these people, litigation is the only option.
Making a start
If you have an interest in the prospect of mediation, you must first discuss the idea with your spouse. If the two of you believe you can work together toward an amicable settlement, this option may be the best way to approach your divorce.