Deciding to end a marriage is never an easy or pleasant decision. However, it doesn’t have to be as stressful and lengthy a process as some people fear.
Divorce mediation is an option that provides a less confrontational and more collaborative divorce.
Guidelines for divorce mediation
In a traditional divorce, a judge makes the decisions regarding property division, child custody and spousal support. It costs more and can be lengthy, especially if divorce proceedings are contentious.
With divorce mediation, a third party acts as a neutral mediator and helps the couple negotiate and reach an agreement that is satisfactory to both parties. It gives the couple more control over the outcome and is typically less costly, in both time and money.
While every situation is different, here are some general guidelines for divorce mediation.
- Both parties have to be willing to participate in the mediation process
- The mediator is not there to take sides or make decisions. Their job is to keep the spouses focused on the outcome.
- The mediation process is confidential and can’t be used in court.
- Both parties must fully disclose all relevant financial information, such as assets, liabilities and income.
- Spouses must commit to treating each other with respect during the mediation process.
- Once an agreement is reached and signed by the judge, it becomes legally binding.
While traditional divorces can become adversarial, mediation encourages cooperation and communication. It tends to be less stressful and can result in better relationships between co-parents after the divorce.
If you think divorce mediation may be a better option than traditional divorce, consult with someone who can guide you in determining which method is best for your situation.