Couples seeking a divorce have a few different options to consider beyond the usual method of getting a lawyer and letting him sort out the details. In some contested divorces involving large estates to be divided, the services of a divorce attorney are practically mandatory, but for many uncontested and less acrimonious divorces, divorce mediation could be a good alternative to hiring an attorney, especially when cost and convenience are compared.
Mediation is usually an advantageous alternative to court because it is less expensive and faster than going through a court trial. Divorce attorneys will charge at least $1000 for an initial consultation and several hundred dollars an hour for subsequent work. The cost of a divorce mediator can be split by both spouses and rarely exceeds $5000. If mediation doesn’t work for your particular divorce case you halt mediation at any time, and start over. A mediator could actually be a lawyer, but most often they are a licensed professional that is certified to work on his on his own. Mediators will work both spouses to find some middle ground and help couples put aside disagreements and facilitate the divorce in the best way possible. Because mediators are licensed professionals they provide an outside perspective and work with each side individually to come to mutual agreements. Mediators work on a personal basis to resolve things smoothly and this can make the whole process much easier on everyone involved, including any children that might be in the home.
Mediators can help complete and file the legal documents needed by both parties, but they do not make any decisions for either spouse. Mediators work to help both parties make their own decisions based on the information provided. The mediation process is based on agreement between both parties and allows them to control of the terms and conditions of their own settlement agreement instead of the terms being dictated by the divorce court. Because mediation is based on compromise and agreement, it can deliver satisfactory results for both sides. Mediation is not only less expensive and contentious; it usually will not take nearly as long as a divorce case that goes through a court trial. It also allows both spouses to have some control instead of relinquishing control to the court.
* Costs less money.
* Allows personal control of settlement agreements.
* Less stress on both parties.
* Maintains privacy and dignity.
Divorce Mediation works best when:
* Both parties agree on the divorce.
* Both parties have concerns for any children involved.
* Both parties can communicate openly.
Divorce Mediation may not work when:
* One spouse does not want a divorce.
* Abuse is a factor.
* Disagreements on child custody are present.