When people think of divorce, their minds may immediately jump to images of a long and drawn-out courtroom battle. However, it is fairly common for couples to solve their divorce cases outside the courtroom these days. How is this accomplished? Well, some alternatives can help encourage a more amicable divorce process. Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C. can help explain one of these possible alternatives, mediation.
What Exactly is Mediation?
It is important to have a basic understanding of mediation when considering it a viable divorce alternative. Simply put, mediation is a process where spouses meet alongside a neutral, third-party mediator to help resolve issues within the divorce. Reaching divorce agreements has the potential to be a long, drawn-out experience, with the possibility of ending up in court for the judge to make final decisions on outcomes.
Mediation will give the couple the ability to negotiate and draft a divorce agreement rather than argue over the final outcome.
Why Choose Mediation?
There are many reasons why a couple may opt for divorce mediation rather than the traditional litigation process. The benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Lower costs. This is a key benefit of mediation. The costs associated with this process are much lower than taking a case to trial.
- Confidential matters. If privacy is paramount during a divorce, mediation is extremely beneficial. There is no public record of what occurs in sessions.
- Encourages communication. Another benefit of mediation is that it fosters healthy communication practices. When co-parenting, this is especially important.
- Satisfaction with the settlement. When a couple goes through divorce mediation, they are more likely to remain satisfied with their settlement in the long term.
- Freedom and control. Couples have the freedom and control with mediation to tailor their divorce agreement to their unique needs.
What Happens in Mediation?
Knowing what exactly happens in the mediation process can help reduce potential anxieties surrounding this divorce option. Before mediation can formally begin, the mediator will likely request background information on the family and potential points of contention. This will allow the mediator to go into the process informed and prepared to target the specific issues.
Depending on the couple, mediation sessions could occur in separate rooms or together. However, each spouse will have the opportunity to speak on their side. There are several things to keep in mind when mediation sessions are taking place.
- Remain open to compromise.
- Listen to other points of view.
Without these components, mediation sessions will be difficult to conduct. Furthermore, if compromises cannot be made, the case may ultimately end up in court.
If the couple is satisfied with the proposed agreement at the end of negotiations, it can be presented to the court. If approved there, that will become a component of the final divorce decree.
How Can Mediation Begin?
In some states, mediation is required for every divorce. In California, a judge will only mandate mediation if parents cannot agree on custody issues. However, this does not mean that a couple cannot opt for mediation during their divorce. One great way to get started with mediation is to find a knowledgeable family law attorney, such as a team member from Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C.. They will be able to review the case and determine whether or not mediation is a viable course of action for reaching a settlement.
Wanting to Learn More About Mediation?
When wanting to learn more about mediation, meeting with an experienced family law attorney is a great first step. The team at Law Office of Tiffany L. Andrews, P.C. is eager to provide families with the assistance they need during some of their most difficult times.