You have been married for quite a few years, but in some ways, the same spark, or the same love is not there anymore. You try hard to bring back some ray of hope, but all seems to be lost. You and your partner finally reach the same conclusion - a divorce.
But it's easier said than done. You have heard or read about how painful the process of divorce can be, especially when it's dragged on for years. Not to mention the financial toll it takes on your wallet. Like it or not, you will have to go through it, and there seems to be no other way - or is there??
This is where divorce mediation takes the spot. Imagine going through a process that benefits both you and your partner in more than one way. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it is true!
So what is divorce mediation, and what are the advantages?
Divorce mediation, in plain words, is a process that helps you and your partner to settle your divorce differences in a smooth manner — no more allegations and fault finding in the court.
Some of the advantages of such a process include:
- Avoiding long court hours - Divorce processes usually take more than one court session, which is filled with hour-long debates and conflicts. However, with a mediator, you can set your own hours and time.
- More budget-friendly - It cost less to hire a mediator. A standard divorce-driven lawyer can range from $20,000 to $32,000. If a case goes to trial, litigation can range from $78,000 to $200,000. However, the typical cost of a mediated divorce can range from $7,000 to $10,000.
- The whole process is less stressful - Meetings are done in a calm and controlled environment. Steps are usually taken by the Mediator to keep things breezy.
- Protect the children from a negative experience - Your children won't have a lifelong trauma from your ruthless divorce experience. You will remain calm, and so will they.
- Helps to find alternatives for resolving issues - There is more than one way to solve a problem. Divorce mediators are trained to find and use such scenarios.
A divorce mediator is usually a non-biased person from a third party. The person won't take the side of any partner but will help in finding the middle ground. He or she would help settle differences that would otherwise create arguments in the courtroom.
Most divorce mediation processes tend to follow the same pattern, well, except in some rare or unusual cases.
1st meeting - The mediator meets both the parties along with their assigned lawyers if any. Both parties are asked about the common issues that they want to be resolved. They are then asked to gather all the financial data they can lay hands on for submittal.
Once you know what needs to be done and the documents necessary, it's time to plan on how to get it done.
Subsequent meetings - The collected data is then used to compromise on various issues in a way to meet the middle ground for both parties. The mediator usually tries to go through the more obvious issues first. That helps you and your partner build up trust as resolving the most straightforward issues makes you realize how easy proper communication could have helped your marriage.
Once you reach the issues that are harder, you become more open to compromises with your partner. This process also eliminates the idea that being aggressive might be helpful. During these meetings, the divorce mediator will advise that you try to understand what your partner has to say. It doesn't mean you have to agree to all the compromises, but it will help with your partner, giving you the same benefits.
Final verdict - The divorce mediator drafts an agreement for you and your partner once all issues reach an agreement. These agreements become an integral part of the whole divorce process, and the court has the right to enforce these agreements or penalties if one of you fails to comply or keep their end of the bargain.
Does Divorce Mediation Always Work?
It's not common to reach a compromised state on every issue. But it's going to help solve a few issues. You and your partner can file agreements of the resolved issues. The rest is up to you to bring up the non-resolved issues later or not at all.
Do I Need an Attorney During the Divorce Mediation?
Seeing as the process of divorce can get very emotional, it’s always the best approach to have lawyers represent both parties. Also, because legal documents and agreements are reached, it's recommended for you and your partner to review your agreements by separate lawyers. Once signed, the agreements become a part of the divorce and have to follow, as stated.
How Long Does the Mediation Process Take?
It typically depends on the parties involved. Some get through everything in the 1st session itself. Some need more time to reach an agreement where they accept compromise. Either way, it takes less time than the usual court time.
What are the Rare Instances where Mediation is not the Solution?
Although mediation works for most couples, it might not work in some rare cases. Such scenarios are when:
- You and your partner lack communication
- One of you won't mediate
- There is a history of domestic violence
Even in cases where you and your spouse agree that mediation is the best path to follow, it's best if you consider hiring attorneys in a limited capacity to consult with you. Many mediating spouses find it helpful to consult with an experienced attorney for the process to ensure the final agreement is fair and in your best interest.
The general purpose of this article is to help you decide whether you need to use the mediation process or not. It's best to talk about this with your partner, whose opinion is required in order to visit a divorce mediator. If you and your partner agree, it means there is an understanding, and your goals are mutual. Which in itself, is a step towards mediation.
You should only work with a mediator who has experience in divorce cases and one who is an experienced family law attorney. And if you have any need to localize your Divorce Certificate, then you can achieve that easily with localization services like The Word Point, without much hassle and with discretion.
Here is the solution to an easier divorce process. Don't wait, just go for it.