The divorce process can be tedious, costly, and filled with tension, so minimizing the toll it takes on all parties involved is ideal. For some divorcing couples, mediation may be an option that can help them reach a settlement without going to court. During the process, couples meet with a neutral third party to resolve issues and finalize the terms of the divorce in a manner that is agreeable to both parties.
Mediation is most likely to be successful if the decision to divorce was mutual and neither party wants to reconcile. If both parties agree that the marriage is over, they are more likely to cooperate in the mediation process. If children are involved, many couples like the idea of negotiating custody arrangements together. However, if there are drastic disagreements about parenting styles, or one party suspects abuse, a custody agreement may not be attainable through mediation alone. In this situation, both parties should consult with a divorce attorney and resolve their issues in court.
If a couple’s relationship has been volatile or physically violent, mediation may not be the best option, since it is unlikely that one or both individuals will be willing to participate calmly and cooperate amicably during the negotiation process.
While mediation isn’t right for every couple, it can be a great solution for many. Couples interested in mediation should discuss the process with an experienced divorce attorney.