When you decide to end your marriage, you have to determine the process to use to finalize the divorce. You can choose to battle it in court and hire a lawyer or try divorce mediation. In divorce mediation, spouses sit with a professional and neutral mediator casually. Mediation sessions are conducted in the mediator’s office or virtually if all concerned parties agree.
1. Mediation Prioritizes the Children
Mediation adopts a child-centered strategy. Since both parents know their children well, including their needs, they can make important decisions that will benefit them. For example, if you decide to get divorced through the courts, the judge may decide the children’s fate that may not be favorable. Mediation is an enabling process that helps the parents create an effective co-parenting plan.
2. You Have Control over the Outcome
When taking the mediation route for your divorce, you control the outcome of the entire process. There is no judge to declare what you get or don’t get, who will take the kids, how often you can see your kids, child support, alimony, or any other divorce terms. The couple talks and decides what’s best. The divorce mediator facilitates the proceedings to keep the couple focused and avoid confrontation. In short, the mediator sits through to ensure an agreement is reached without anyone coming to blows.
When you file for divorce without first resolving issues like alimony, distribution of marital property, child support, and custody, you will probably need a lawyer to help you get the best deal. With so many things to resolve, you will soon have huge attorney’s fees to pay. During mediation, the mediator’s fee is split between the spouses. Therefore, whether the mediator is a professional or an attorney, you will most likely pay much less than going to court. If you feel that you are incapable of mediating on your own, you can hire a lawyer for guidance through the process.
4. Control Over Your Schedule
Going to court means that you don’t have control over scheduling. The court instructs you when to appear with complete disregard to your prior commitments and personal schedule. And it’s common to attend court for a conference or hearing and wait for the judge for hours. With mediation, both of you set the time and dates of meetings. Some mediators provide evening sessions convenient for people holding daytime jobs.
5. Cultivates a Better Post-Divorce Relationship
At the end of the mediation, the chances are that you both will be on better terms than you were when starting. Court battles tend to foster lingering resentment and hostility that may be difficult to get over when the divorce is final, negatively affecting you and your children. The mediation process also sets a foundation for smoother co-parenting eventually.
When looking for a divorce mediator, confirm their credentials and ensure that they have at least 40 hours of mediation training. When mediation succeeds, it significantly impacts how you perceive your divorce and go on with your life.