If you are like many, you probably associate divorce with a stressful event full of long drawn out court battles that are full of angry or embarrassing allegations from both parties involved. As a result, you may have felt hesitation to end your marriage, even though it has been unhappy for a while.
Although divorces involving an acrimonious court battle do exist, it is important for you to know that it is not the only way of obtaining a divorce. One popular alternative that provides for a more constructive approach is divorce mediation.
Benefits of mediation
If you opt for mediation, you work with a neutral third party called a mediator (along with the attorneys involved). Instead of relying on the court to make a decision for you, you and your spouse work with the mediator to resolve all or some of the issues relating to your divorce. It is not the mediator's role to determine which party is right or wrong from a legal point of view. Instead, the mediator helps you and your spouse reach your own decisions.
For one, mediation allows you to decide how your assets will be divided after the divorce has been completed. In doing this, you can avoid most of the adversarial atmosphere inherent in a court proceeding, which often can draw out the divorce process.
Additionally, mediation is helpful in determining questions of child custody and child support. Since you and your spouse, not a court, are in control of the outcome, mediation often results in an agreement that is beneficial for all parties involved. As a result, persons using mediation are often happier with the result and are thus more likely to stick with the terms of the agreement.
Aside from putting you in control of the divorce process and making it less stressful, mediation also has other benefits. For example, it can help you save a significant amount of money, since it does not involve the adversarial proceedings that litigation involves, which can draw out the process. Additionally, parties that choose mediation find that they can complete their divorces faster. Since the courts are overburdened, it can take a year or longer for a divorce case to be heard by them. Finally, mediation is a private affair, which allows the parties involved to resolve their issues away from the ears of the public.
Find out if mediation would be a good fit for you
Although mediation may sound like a good alternative to traditional divorce, it is not right for some couples, especially if a power imbalance or domestic violence is involved. As a result, if you are considering getting a divorce, consult with the experienced family law attorneys at LaRocca, Hornik, Rosen, Greenberg & Patti LLC. Our attorneys can assess your situation and recommend the best way of achieving the outcome that you desire.