Divorce has a reputation for being a very difficult and lengthy process. Couples can turn every minor decision into grounds for a fight and may demand that the courts settle most of their major disputes because they cannot agree with each other.
Litigated divorces can be very messy and expensive. Each spouse may fight bitterly for specific parental rights and asset division terms, and no one can predict what a judge will decide. Some people in truly unhappy marriages stay in their situations because they have such a negative view of divorce litigation.
What these people may not realize is that litigation is not automatically necessary for those who want to end a marriage in Washington. They can pursue uncontested divorces instead. Mediation is a tool that may help people go from disagreeing on everything to feeling prepared for uncontested divorce proceedings.
What does mediation involve?
Mediation is a process that would occur before family court for those divorcing in Washington. Usually, each spouse will have their own attorney to help represent their best interests. They will then meet with another trained professional who will serve as a mediator.
The mediator maintains a neutral position and simply seeks to facilitate discussion and compromise. Mediation often occurs with everyone sitting down together, but mediation could also occur with the spouses in separate spaces and the mediator moving back and forth between spouses to minimize conflict during negotiations.
The mediation process offers a host of benefits
Paying for the services of a professional mediator in addition to paying court costs and attorney fees can be a worthwhile investment. Mediation is a confidential process during which spouses can discuss very personal matters and financial details without worries about what they discussed becoming public record.
If they can reach an agreement, the mediation process will end with them signing an agreement that will facilitate an uncontested Washington divorce. Not only does mediation potentially give people control over the terms set when they divorce, but it can also reduce the total costs that couples have to cover for their divorce proceedings.
Considering different approaches to the divorce process might help people maintain control over their lives and their finances more effectively during a relatively unstable time.