If you are about to end your marriage, you may want to avoid a venomous courtroom fight at all costs. This mentality makes sense, as divorce litigation is often both painful and expensive. Even worse, according to Psychology Today, your kids may react negatively to your bitter divorce.
For many reasons, divorce mediation is often a better alternative. With mediation, you and your soon-to-be husband or wife work together to find solutions to divorce-related problems, such as property division or child custody.
Your mediator must be neutral
If you opt for divorce mediation, you first choose an acceptable mediator. This may take some time, as you and your spouse may disagree about which mediator is a good fit. While your mediator may be an attorney, he or she must remain neutral.
It is not uncommon for divorce mediators to recommend solutions or courses of action. The mediator should not advocate for either you or your spouse, however. If you cannot reach a consensus on some or all divorce-related matters, you typically have the option of going to court.
You can have your own lawyer
You do not have to go into divorce mediation without an advocate, as it is perfectly acceptable to have your own legal counsel. Your spouse may want to hire his or her own attorney too. You can expect your lawyer to evaluate your options and represent your interests. Because divorce mediation is non-adversarial, though, your attorney may seem more like a counselor than a bulldog.
Even though going through a divorce is likely to be somewhat traumatic, divorce mediation may be good for everyone in your family. Ultimately, with the right legal guidance, you may end up with a settlement agreement and custody plan before ever stepping foot inside a courtroom.