If you and your spouse are ending your marriage, you may look at the prospect of litigation with a certain amount of anxiety.
A traditional divorce in court can be a contentious, lengthy and expensive affair. Could mediation be a better option for you?
The mediation process
Divorce mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. You and your spouse would work together to create a divorce settlement agreement that is satisfactory to you both. As compared with litigation, mediation is a private process that takes place outside of court. You and your spouse do not have to rely on the decisions of a judge; you have control over the outcome of your own divorce. Mediation is also a faster process than litigation, less stressful and usually much less expensive.
The mediator role
You and your spouse will have the guidance of a neutral third party, a mediator, who will provide access to legal information and offer suggestions that can help resolve sticking points. Open communication is key to working out a successful agreement and the mediator will keep the negotiations between the two of you on track. Respect between the parties and civil behavior are trademarks of the mediation process as compared with litigation, which can become bitter and contentious.
The end result
Once you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have created a settlement agreement that is satisfactory to you both, it is ready for legal review and final approval at the court level. Experience shows that fewer couples return to court for modification purposes if they have worked together through mediation to create their divorce agreement.