Even when it’s the best option for both parties involved, few people actually want to go through the painful and often costly process of divorce, which is where divorce mediation is a solid alternative. In fact, mediation is the casual name of a well-established process called Alternative Dispute Resolution or ADR.
Mediation or ADR can mean very different things, depending on the type of case in question. Before we dive into specific details, regarding divorce mediation and whether it’s the right solution for you, we’ll review the general point and practice of mediation as a form of resolution.
Making sense of mediation
Unlike presenting before a judge, mediation is an informal, yet professional, strategy for resolving disputes of all kinds.
During mediation, the two sides sit down with a mediator. From a neutral and highly qualified point of view, the mediator will work with both parties to arrive at a solution that satisfies each side. In other words, the only party or parties in control are those getting divorced.
When it comes to mediation, a judge doesn’t decide the outcome. You and your soon-to-be ex-partner do.
Provided you can establish an agreement during mediation that works for both of you, a judge will then sign it and the decision will be filed as a court order — just as if you had gone through a divorce court process before a judge.
So… what happens if you can’t reach a decision during mediation?
If mediation doesn’t prove successful, your case will then be scheduled for a court hearing, during which a judge will hear both sides and determine a decision based upon the best case scenario for each party and any additional parties, such as minor children, involved.
Now that you understand the basic ins and outs of divorce mediation, the question still remains: Is divorce mediation right for you?
Is divorce mediation the best solution for me?
In order to answer that, context is everything. Only you know your partner and their position on your pending divorce. If you’re dealing with a rational person and a mutually agreed decision to divorce, mediation might be just the thing to resolve your case quickly and efficiently.
However, emotions do run high during stressful situations like divorce and surprises can happen even in the most seemingly amicable divorce cases.
For that reason, it is best to consult with legal counsel — even if mediation proves to be the most appropriate option for your situation.
Contact our firm to schedule a consultation and discuss some of the finer points of mediation. Our goal is to ensure all of our clients are empowered with the education and support they need to advocate for themselves and their future.