May 18

Divorce Mediation – An Option to Consider

Divorce Mediation – An Option to Consider
When you are facing the possibility of divorce, there are dispute resolution options available to you other than the traditional litigation model. One of those options is mediation, which enables couples to maintain more control over the process and privacy.
Mediation offers divorcing couples the ability to decide what issues they wish to deal with and when in the process to deal with them. Couples can work on one issue or area involved in their case that they are stuck on, such as custody and placement, or a variety of issues such as property division, valuation (business and/or property values), child support or maintenance.
Unlike traditional litigation, mediation allows couples to:
— Work toward the resolution of issues in the privacy of the mediator’s office. In the traditional litigation model unresolved issues are dealt with in a courtroom through testimony and arguments made by the attorneys, all of which is open to the public.
— Schedule mediation sessions that work with your schedule and the schedule of your spouse. In litigation the schedule of the Judge and attorneys may take priority over the schedules of you and your spouse.
— Anticipate that when a mediation session is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., it will take place at that time. If a hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. in court, you and your attorney may be waiting a considerable amount of time before the Judge hears your case because of other scheduled matters.
— Be creative in finding solutions that fit their lives and the lives of their children.
— Have the time to respectfully discuss what is important to each of them. In traditional litigation parties may be discouraged to talk directly with each other and be surprised by their inability to “tell the Judge’ what they think is important through their testimony in court.
— Control the costs better than they may be able to do with the traditional litigation model.
— Develop a means of communicating that will assist them in resolving future issues. Traditional litigation may do very little to help couples develop a way to deal with future issues without resorting to additional litigation.
Just as one size does not fit all, one dispute resolution option may not be right for everyone. Given the benefits that can be derived from participating in mediation, it is an option that should be considered.