You might not have imagined that someday you’d be getting divorced, but as life takes its twists and turns, sometimes it leads you to the lawyer’s office. A divorce doesn’t have to be stressful or ugly; in fact, by utilizing mediation as a means of handling your divorce, all parties will be better off in the end. Rather than going through a traditional divorce process and going to court, mediation allows for both parties to sit at one table and civilly discuss all of the ins and outs of what their future lives will look like. Here are some of the top reasons why mediating your divorce is oftentimes—though not always—a far better option compared to traditional alternatives.
It protects your children
Divorce can be a stressful time for children, as the outcome is often unclear and they don’t understand all of the adult decisions that have to be made. Small children, especially, can be emotionally affected by seeing their parents battle it out in court. Instead, the act of mediation brings everyone to the same table to find mutually agreeable options. Rather than using custody of the children as a way to get back at a spouse, mediation helps to keep things fair. Seeing parents being civil during a divorce can also help a child cope with the process a little bit easier.
Additionally, in a custody battle, children’s lives may be interrupted by observers working to determine how custody should be divided, or they may even be called to appear in court themselves. Mediation helps to provide some distance between the children and any conflicts over custody.
Costs are lower
When you decide to go through the traditional court system to negotiate and finalize a divorce, the costs can be extreme. In most cases, you are still drawing from the same bank account to pay for divorce proceedings. That means you’re paying for two lawyers, mountains of paperwork, and maybe even daycare costs while you’re both in court. With mediation, you normally meet with one lawyer who will work with both of you at the same time. The needs of both parties get addressed much more efficiently and more cheaply when litigation can be avoided.
You get a plan that works
Another benefit to mediation is that you get the opportunity to sit down with a neutral third party and work out schedules and guidelines that work best for you and your particular family situation. Let’s say one of you travels extensively for work and needs a very specific custody schedule. Mediation allows for that! The rigidity of the court system might not meet your needs and may not take special circumstances into consideration. Rather, with mediation you get the chance to be creative.
It allows for privacy
Divorce court is a very public place, and if you have certain facts about your life or your marriage that you’d rather keep quiet, it can be an intimidating and embarrassing place to be. Instead, mediating your divorce keeps all discussion in one room and at one table, and all parties must keep the proceedings confidential. You don’t have the exposure of public records or onlookers, and you can better maintain your dignity during the divorce process.
Remember that every divorce situation is different, and mediation may or may not be the best option for you and your family. If you have more questions about mediating a divorce, please call the Law Office of Carolyn Moller Duncan today.