Divorce mediation is among the most commonly used methods of bargaining a divorce settlement. In divorce mediation, both you and your ex-spouse or, if you and your ex-wife have no children, both of you and a neutral third person, known as a mediator, meet with a divorce mediator in an attempt to resolve and discuss the major issues in your divorce settlement. Mediation can help prevent an expensive divorce settlement. Here are some things that you should know about divorce mediation and how it may benefit you.
One benefit of divorce mediation is that it is cost effective. It is less expensive than going to court and paying lawyer fees and other costs associated with a divorce proceeding. You do not have to make any payments until you finalize the settlement. In many cases, once both you and your spouse have agreed upon the major settlement issues, you both just sign the agreement in front of a notary public, take a copy of the written agreement to the divorce mediation office, and you are done.
Another benefit of divorce mediation is that it provides a safer environment for divorcing couples. Most divorce mediation meetings do not involve your spouse physically, at least in the beginning. The purpose of the meeting is to listen to what you have to say. If a serious problem is brought up, most divorcing couples will discuss that with their divorce mediator and then they can move on to discussing the issues facing them. This minimizes the likelihood that you will come across any embarrassing situations during the course of the mediation process that could cause you to feel uncomfortable and make you want to pull out of the meeting.
Third, divorce mediation could be beneficial to you in the future. This is especially true if you are considering remarrying. There are many couples who benefit from divorce mediation because they could go into negotiations before their case goes to court and they could possibly avoid a judge’s request for a trial. If your case is not going to court, but you are still concerned about possibly winning the case through other means, divorce mediation may be the best option for you to consider.
Fourth, your attorney may be able to negotiate better fees with the mediator than you could do on your own. Many attorneys offer “no win no fee” settlements. These agreements usually cover a percentage of the overall expenses, the attorneys incurs while representing their clients, and often they only require that the mediation be started after an initial consultation. If you do not have enough money to pay for professional legal representation, or if the case is not likely to reach a trial, mediation may be a good option for you. In most instances, both parties win in mediation cases, as opposed to court battles.
Fifth, there may be some minor issues that can be resolved prior to the mediation process begins. For example, you may have a difficult time agreeing whether or not certain financial obligations such as alimony should be awarded to the former spouse. If either party feels that the financial agreement is unfair, they can enter into legal separation. During the legal separation, they can continue to make payments to each other, or they can agree to sell the assets of one party and distribute the money to the other party. Both parties have to be reasonably sure that the other party wants to enter into a legal separation, otherwise they will not be able to enter into a mediation.
Sixth, both parties are usually comfortable with the mediator. Mediation usually takes place at the courthouses, and both parties are often happy with the person attending to them. It is important to remember though that the mediator is not a legal expert, and it is possible he or she might not know which side to support you on. When this happens, both you and the other party’s attorney will need to mediate. Your attorney will be able to review and make a determination about whether or not your spouse was treated fairly during mediation.
The majority of couples who use the mediation process feel much more comfortable going through it rather than litigation. It is much easier to reach an agreement with a group of people rather than going through a lengthy litigation process with just one person. In addition, it is often less expensive to use a mediation agreement than pursuing a court case. Many couples who agree to mediation receive fair results, and some do better than their counterparts who go through court. Furthermore, divorce mediation does not involve a lot of time and energy on the part of either party. As a result, couples tend to get back together much faster after the process, and start to have positive relationships again.