You can resolve your divorce issues privately and peacefully.
The unfortunate has happened and you are contemplating or are in the process of divorce. You may be grief-stricken or relieved, fearful or angry. Divorcing people run the gamut of emotions and all such emotions are perfectly normal. When you are in the throes of such emotions, however, you may find it difficult to make rational decisions about the future.
Mediation with a skilled professional can help you navigate those emotions so you can focus on a peaceful path through your divorce. An effective mediator understands how to help you communicate with each other and stay focused on the big picture. Settling a divorce can be difficult because there are usually a number of unresolved feelings. A good mediator can help divorcing couples overcome these feelings and focus on the most important priorities of the family.
Mediation is based in respectful, solutions-oriented conversation. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication while remaining neutral. Mediation is one of the most valuable tools available for bringing an end to a marriage peacefully and serving as the foundation for a healthy non-married relationship going forward, which can make the transition much easier for both spouses and for any children. You do not need to involve the courts or to hire separate attorneys to speak for you. You and your spouse can resolve your issues together in a respectful way that will save you time, money, and stress.
Mediation is a helpful process for negotiating divorce agreements because:
- Couples who mediate are in control of the process of the mediation. They can determine how often to meet and what issues to address at each meeting.
- Couples who mediate are in control of the outcome of the mediation. The mediator is not a judge who makes a decision. The agreement is not final until the parties reach an agreement that is acceptable to both of them.
- Couples who mediate can usually save money. They can discuss directly with each other their needs and interests rather than each having their attorney speak to the other’s attorney. They can also consolidate expenses by jointly hiring any needed professionals, such as appraisers, financial neutrals, or child development specialists.
- Couples who mediate have more flexibility in negotiating alimony, child support, and asset valuation and division, than would be available through litigation.
- Couples who mediate can establish a practical parenting plan that meets the children’s needs, as well as their own. They can try out various parenting schedules, even unusual ones, before finalizing them in an agreement.
- Couples who mediate can avoid exposing their children to the conflict that often arises in litigation.
- Couples who mediate usually find that they can maintain amicable relationships with each other after the divorce because they have shared with each other their fears, concerns, and ideas and have created an agreement that works for them.
- Couples who mediate are usually much more satisfied with the outcome than couples who litigate their divorce. Consequently, couples with mediated agreements are far less likely to argue about the terms of the agreement after the divorce or to use the courts to resolve any differences that arise in the future.
- Couples who mediate can often preserve a respectful ongoing relationship after the divorce.
Once you have reached an agreement, you can take it to your individual attorneys for review. An independent review by attorneys for each party is important to ensure that that you each fully understand your legal rights and responsibilities under the agreement and that in any future proceedings the agreement will be viewed as having been negotiated fairly.
If you are considering divorce or your spouse has requested a divorce, and you believe mediation is the best option for ending the marriage, Susan Sloane can help. Susan has been practicing law for more than 40 years and is an experienced mediator who can help you reach a respectful resolution of the issues.
“If we manage conflict constructively, we harness its energy for creativity and development.”
~ Kenneth Kaye