Divorce Mediation – Mediators Can Be A Low Cost Alternative
Initiating a divorce can be a costly proposition. A court contested divorce can drain your bank account, take up all your time and destroy your peace of mind in short order. You can hire a divorce lawyer to represent you and eliminate some of the work, but it will still be an expensive ordeal at the very least. Your family and children will still be impacted in unpredictable ways, and there is no guarantee a court proceeding will go in your favor.
You might want to consider utilizing the services of a qualified divorce mediator as an alternative to using a divorce attorney in court. Most divorce attorneys will charge at least $1000 for an initial consultation and several hundred dollars as an hourly rate thereafter. The total will increase rapidly as you move forward through the divorce. On the other hand, the services of a divorce mediator can be split by both spouses and rarely exceed $5000 total for even the most protracted divorce cases. If mediation doesn’t work for your specific case you can always still go to court with your divorce. You can halt mediation at any time, and start over.
Using a divorce mediator doesn’t mean you will have to do all of the legal work of a divorce by yourself. Many mediators are also attorneys and can complete and file the legal documents needed by both parties. A mediating attorney can’t make decisions for either spouse, instead they help both parties make their own decisions based on the information provided. Mediation is based on agreement between both parties and allows them to control of the terms and conditions in the settlement agreement instead of the terms being dictated by the divorce court. Mediation encourages compromise and discussion of proposed agreements and can often lead to satisfactory results for both sides.
Professional divorce mediators are not recognized in all states, but you can find non-licensed mediation services nearly anywhere. Teams of family or mental health professionals partnered with attorneys often serve as divorce mediators. Effective divorce mediation also requires skills in counseling, family law and children’s support issues. Divorce mediation can assist both spouses in making realistic decisions that offer the best solution to their divorce. Mediation can help foster a couple’s acceptance of negative issues in the past and help them move toward a future that is better for both.
Advantages of Divorce Mediation:
- Saves money for all parties involved.
- Allows direct control of the legal settlement agreement.
- Easier on the children and relatives.
- Helps maintain privacy and dignity.
Divorce Mediation is recommended if:
- Both parties agree on the divorce.
- Both parties have concerns for dependant children.
- Both parties are on good speaking terms.
Divorce Mediation is not recommended if:
- Either spouse does not want to divorce.
- Physical abuse is present.
- Drug or alcohol abuse is present.
- Either spouse is inflexible on child custody.
- Either spouse habitually lies.