For many couples, divorce can be a difficult time. The emotions that many couples have to deal with when deciding to end a relationship that, in many cases, may have lasted for a significant amount of time, can be overwhelming. Moreover, the range of details that must be successfully resolved in order to reach a divorce settlement that is satisfactory to both sides can feel impossible to manage. If custody of children or pets is involved, the stress associated with divorce can be even more pronounced.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, divorce is a common cause of stress for millions of Americans. While nothing can fully remove stress from arising during the divorce process, there are a number of ways to reduce it significantly. One of the most basic ways to reduce stress during a divorce is to pursue a divorce process that is not adversarial in nature. When most couples think of divorce, they think of a long, drawn-out legal battle between the two sides. However, divorce doesn’t have to be like this. Divorce mediation can help to reduce the combativeness associated with a divorce and allow the couple to focus on what matters most during this difficult time.
Divorce Mediation: How it Works
Divorce mediation involves the use of a neutral third party, the divorce mediator, who helps the couple resolve the various terms of their divorce in a way that both will find satisfactory. In general, the issues which need to be resolved in mediation include, but are not limited to, the following:
? Division of property
? Child custody
? Child visitation
? Spousal and child support
With the assistance of the mediator, both parties are encouraged to discuss their ideas for how these issues should be resolved, and in turn, the mediator will help to guide both sides towards a middle ground that both can find acceptable. Because the mediator is required to maintain neutrality, both spouses can be assured that they will be treated fairly.
Divorce mediation can help to reduce the stress that couples may feel during the divorce process in a variety of different ways. These can include:
? Reduced time of divorce proceedings - most divorce mediations last between three and ten sessions, which can be significantly shorter in duration than a contested divorce.
? Lower overall costs - the costs of a contested divorce are frequently several multiples of what a mediated divorce costs, reducing the financial burden for both parties.
? Non-combative atmosphere - because of the mediator’s presence, this type of divorce process is often far more civil and agreeable for both sides.
? Reduced uncertainty - in a mediated divorce process, neither side has to worry about a judgment being rendered against them which they can’t accept.
These are just some of the many ways that mediated divorce can help to reduce stress and make the divorce process easier on divorcing couples. With the CDC reporting that there are approximately 3.4 divorces per every 1,000 people in the United States, it is clear that minimizing the stress associated with divorce has the ability to positively affect many people. As such, if you are considering divorce, mediation may be an option worth looking into.