If you are facing divorce, you are probably not looking forward to having to live through a contentious court battle that ends with an agreement you might find unpalatable.
But what if the court had no involvement in the decisions you make? What if you and your spouse could resolve issues and come to an agreement on your own? This is what mediation is all about.
No legal advice
A mediator is a neutral third party. Unlike an arbitrator, whose decisions are binding, a mediator has no such power. Without providing legal advice, the mediator helps you think in a strategic manner, work through your emotions and keep you on track so that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse can make decisions you can both live with going forward.
Bringing in professionals
Every divorce is unique, and some couples have issues that are more complicated than others. A good mediator will see the red flags that indicate upcoming chaos and be prepared to bring in specialists to help. These might include parenting coordinators or wealth managers, people who can contribute their expertise in helping you navigate any rough spots. In fact, bringing in experts might be advisable if yours will be a high-asset divorce.
The three elements
Mediation addresses three main aspects of your divorce: your parenting plan, the division of your debts and assets, and the question of child support and spousal maintenance. Many couples choose mediation over traditional divorce because they need to work together in a mature, civilized way in order to raise their children properly. In addition, studies have shown that mediation is much less stressful on children than long drawn-out and often contentious litigation.
Replacing the judge
A mediator will help you come to an agreement on all the issues a judge would decide, such as property division, debt management and child custody and visitation matters. If there is still disagreement in certain areas, a mediator will continue to help you resolve the issues so that you can move on with your lives.