Just as no two couples are exactly alike, no two divorces fit exactly the same mold. Some are highly contentious, while others are startlingly straightforward. However, most divorces fit squarely in the grey area of somewhat contentious yet relatively civil dissolutions. Many couples attempting to navigate this kind of divorce benefit immensely from a process known broadly as mediation.
In a mediation-based divorce, both parties are almost always represented by individual attorneys. However, the contentious court process is often completely skipped during mediation because the terms of the divorce settlement are negotiated between the parties in a neutral setting. This more relaxed approach can help to mitigate the tensions often associated with the divorce process.
There are multiple advantages to this method. It is often cheaper, because the parties avoid the costs associated with multiple trips to court. In addition, the terms of the divorce settlement are determined by the divorcing spouses rather than a judge. Therefore, it is often easier to retain control over the matters most important to each person rather than leaving the fate of those issues up to the judgment of a third party.
Mediation is not an ideal choice for every situation. Marriages plagued by domestic violence, partnerships involving truly manipulative narcissists and couples involved in highly contentious child custody battles are not ordinarily good candidates for mediation. However, many other divorces are best settled according to this approach. If this option seems like it might fit your situation, please contact an attorney experienced in mediation-based divorces for more information.
Source: Fox Business, “How to Make Your Divorce Cheaper,” Andrea Murad, May 16, 2013