Role of Mediation in Divorce
The divorce process can be a very emotional and trying time in one’s life. Often the process involves confrontations and complicated legal disputes. In recent years, divorce mediation has become more popular because it can be more effective, less costly, and yet a successful method for settling divorce disputes. Mediation is an alternative method of resolving matrimonial issues that are involved in divorce. It is a process in which couples can amicably work out marital, financial, and property-related disputes with the help of a neutral third party known as a mediator.
Advantages of Mediation
Peace of Mind and Control
A mediator can assist spouses in making it through the difficult process of divorce without intensifying the stress and conflict. The certified mediator can also provide a sense of control over the negotiations and allow each spouse to have control over the outcome. In divorce mediation, the couple is in control of the decisions made; they can mutually decide the time to file divorce petition and the terms to be included in the final settlement agreement. It is different from the court process. In mediation, each step is by agreement between the parties, while in the court process, judges make decisions based on information made available to them.
Amicable Settlement of Disputes
A mediator can identify the difficult issues and help the parties reach a solution on complicated issues that might have otherwise been impossible. A mediator provides information essential to help the spouses to make proper decisions. However, the mediator cannot be an advocate for either spouse and is not permitted to provide legal advice or assistance. A mediator helps the parties amicably settle disputes involving division of property, parenting arrangements, child and spousal support, and tax implications, and also can provide guidance and assistance in order to avoid future problems.
Financially Beneficial To Both Parties
The mediation process typically costs less than going to trial; parties can share in the cost of engaging a mediator. Generally, the fees for retaining a mediator are in the range of $ 1,000 to $ 5,000. Moreover a mediator, typically an attorney, also helps in preparation and filing of paperwork for the parties.
Easier on the children
Conflict between the parents often is the cause of sudden change in children’s behavior during the divorce process. It is therefore very important to protect the parties’ children throughout the divorce process and strive to lessen any adverse effects on them. Mediation, which focuses on amicably resolving disputes, can help protect children from the adverse effects of a lengthy drawn-out court battle.
Once a tentative agreement is reached, the mediator will draft a separation agreement and the necessary divorce papers in consultation with the spouses and their attorneys and file them with the court.
Divorce mediation provides an opportunity for those parties who want to retain control over their divorce to make informed decisions in order to move forward with their lives. The parties can avoid legal hassles and courtroom confrontations by resolving disputes amicably. It is a flexible, confidential alternative approach to divorce; moreover, the cost can be 90% less than that of a divorce litigated through the courts.
Divorce mediation gives the parties the opportunity to settle issues for themselves and their children in a lower-stress environment than the often adversarial context of the court process.
Copyright 2012 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.