Divorce mediation entices couples for different reasons. Perhaps you've heard that it is an approach to divorce that spares children much of the pain of the process. Maybe you simply want to approach the process fairly and amicably without opposing attorneys pitting you and your spouse against each other.
One of the most common draws of divorce mediation is the general perception that divorce mediation can be much less expensive than a traditionally litigated divorce. If you and your spouse wish to have an inexpensive divorce, divorce mediation can be a good tool to this end.
However, divorce mediation is not automatically cheaper, and no divorce is free. Rather, mediation seeks to help two parties create mutually beneficial agreements where everyone wins and everyone sacrifices.
Your divorce can be as amicable as you and your spouse allow
Whether or not your divorce will be costly primarily depends on a couple of factors. Are you willing to work with your spouse to create fair agreements quickly? Are you willing to divide up both your assets and liabilities without fighting over each issue?
In the eyes of the law, divorce is the dissolution of a business relationship. Therefore, the court requires a fair distribution of marital property, which means divorcing entails splitting up both your marital assets and liabilities.
A mediator is not in the business of helping you get around the law or creating a divorce agreement that is unfair to one party. Rather, a divorce mediator acts as an impartial guide through many areas you and your spouse must negotiate.
This does not mean that you and your spouse must arrive at the mediation in perfect agreement, but that you and your spouse must be willing to reach agreements in a timely manner.
What if our assets are too complex for mediation?
You may believe that your assets and liabilities are too complex for mediation, but that is probably untrue. Millionaires with complex assets have reached amicable divorce terms after only a few mediation sessions. Even if you have significant assets, you can still reach a fair agreement in only a few mediation sessions.
But what about mediation where one spouse is difficult, or stands to lose more? The mediator trains to work with difficult parties for everyone's benefit, and the party who feels that he or she has less leverage or power is free to refuse a bad deal.
It is important to note that a mediator is not allowed to act as an attorney for one party or another. You may find that it is prudent to enlist the help of another attorney to review an agreement before you sign on the dotted line.
Work with a strong team for strong results
If you believe that mediation is right for you, do not hesitate to seek out the guidance of an experienced mediator. With proper guidance, your divorce can be settled fairly and quickly, potentially saving thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Divorce mediation is not always less expensive, but it may be in your case. Consulting with an experienced mediator can help you evaluate the finer points of your situation, ensuring that your divorce is successful and your rights remain protected.