Mediation in divorce cases is very important because many couples in unhappy marriages put off the decision to get a divorce out of fear of the stress and hardship that the divorce process may bring for the entire family. It is perfectly valid to have concerns about divorce, but they should not prevent you from making a decision that is truly in the best interest of you, your spouse, and your children.
With the right approach, a divorce can be relatively painless, and it may be the first step toward a better, happier life.
For many couples, divorce mediation is the right approach. Mediation offers several benefits, especially if you work with a trained professional like a Naperville divorce mediation attorney.
Mediation requires couples to be open to cooperation and communication, as well as a situation where both spouses are safe from physical and emotional abuse. As long as this is the case, you can take advantage of the many reasons to use mediation for your divorce, including:
Professional mediation services do come with a cost, but it is often significantly lower than the expenses you could accumulate in a divorce trial, including court fees and attorney fees over a period of several months or more.
A divorce trial can last months or even years due to the need to schedule court dates and review arguments, as well as the often contentious back-and-forth that can draw out each decision.
Mediation often takes much less time, not only because it may be easier to schedule appointments, but also because the cooperative attitudes of each spouse can lead to more efficient decision-making.
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A divorce trial in a county court occurs in front of a judge and, potentially, members of the general public. The proceedings of a divorce trial are also usually a matter of public record.
If you wish to avoid airing private family matters in a public venue, mediation can be a great option, as it takes place behind closed doors between just you, your spouse, and the mediator, and all discussions will be completely confidential.
Minimizing Stress and Conflict
The stresses of a public courtroom setting and a lengthy trial can bring out the worst in both parties, potentially increasing conflict in an already difficult situation and creating a situation in which each spouse tries to achieve his or her goals at all costs.
Mediation can help you avoid this issue by encouraging cooperation and collaboration to find solutions that work for both you and your spouse.
Maintaining a Civil Relationship
Although your marriage has failed, you may still have some warm feelings toward your spouse, or at least a desire to maintain a civil relationship, especially if you will be interacting on a regular basis as you co-parent your children.
A high-conflict trial can permanently damage relationships, but mediation can help you maintain them by establishing strategies for constructive communication and cooperation.
Controlling all Decisions
In a divorce trial, the judge will issue orders on all important decisions after hearing arguments from both parties, and you and your spouse will be legally bound to the judge’s decisions.
While courts attempt to rule fairly according to the circumstances, chances are you will be dissatisfied with a decision that is made for you.
Mediation solves this problem by leaving important decisions in your hands, as long as you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement.
Dividing Property According to your Preferences
One decision that divorce mediation may help with is the division of marital property. Mediation allows you and your spouse to negotiate for the assets that are most important to you for financial, family, or sentimental reasons.
You may even be able to agree to continued joint ownership of properties that benefit your entire family, such as a home or a family business.
Prioritizing your Children
The desire to co-parent cooperatively can be a great motivator to use divorce mediation. As with other important decisions in your divorce, mediation gives you and your spouse control over the terms of your parenting agreement, including visitation, custody, and parental responsibilities.
When you work together to create an agreement, it may be easier for both of you to uphold its terms for the good of your children.
Getting Neutral Guidance
On the opposite end of the spectrum from a divorce trial, some couples attempt to handle their divorce on their own without the involvement of attorneys or any other professionals.
While this may help to avoid conflict and prevent the situation from escalating, it may also be possible for communication and negotiation to break down, making a trial necessary.
When you use mediation, you benefit from a neutral third-party who can help guide the conversation back on track when emotions start to take over, or when one spouse starts to shut down or dominate the discussion.
Working with an Experienced Professional
The other benefit of a trained, seasoned mediator is that he or she has seen many of the common challenges that arise throughout the divorce process and can offer guidance that comes from past experience.
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Good mediators also understand the legal implications of the decisions made in a divorce and can ensure that both spouses have taken them into consideration.
With so many potential benefits, divorce mediation is almost always worth considering if there is a possibility for cooperation. If the process goes smoothly, you may be able to reach an agreement on all important issues in your divorce, or you could at least reduce the number of issues that you need to resolve in court.
In the short-term, the time and money you may save by using mediation can be a welcome relief from all of the other challenges you are facing.
However, the most important benefits may come in the long-term, as you and your spouse are both able to find a fresh start and continue working together to raise and support your children.
When you need a mediator you can trust to provide quality services, look to an experienced Wheaton family law attorney.