When you first realize you need to end your marriage, the process can seem overwhelming. Just the thought of going to court can stress you out and make it harder to move forward. Not every divorce winds up in family court, though. In fact, many couples avoid the courtroom entirely by using mediation to handle their split.
Keep reading to learn the fundamentals of mediation and when it may be a good alternative for your divorce.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process. When you choose to handle situations like a divorce through mediation, you agree to work with the other parties to negotiate a fair, equitable, and satisfying solution for everyone involved.
Couples who choose mediation work with their attorneys and a trained divorce mediator to decide how they want to resolve issues like property division, child custody, and spousal support. You and your spouse are responsible for the actual negotiation with the help of your lawyers. The mediator is there to help you remain professional, suggest possible compromises, and guide you through the process of writing your divorce settlement.
This is a significant contrast to court divorces. If your divorce goes to court, you and your spouse will have your respective attorneys argue your cases before a judge. The judge will have the final say on any matters you bring in front of them, which may mean that no one leaves happy.
When Mediation Is the Right Choice for Your Divorce
While mediation is an excellent solution for many couples, it isn’t perfect. Signs that mediation may be the best way to proceed in your divorce include:
- You and your spouse are still amicable
- You’re prepared to negotiate and compromise
- As a couple, you already have a good idea of how you want to divide your assets and handle child custody if necessary
These factors will allow you to approach mediation calmly and professionally and find a settlement you can agree upon.
However, mediation may not be the right choice for you if:
- You have trouble remaining calm or professional around your spouse
- You believe that your spouse will refuse to compromise
- You think that your spouse won’t negotiate with you in good faith
- You and your spouse have strong disagreements on how to resolve issues within your divorce.
In this case, you may need the decisive action of a judge filing a legal order to finalize any elements of your split.
Learn More About the Mediation Process Today
Mediation can be an excellent way for couples to collaborate on their divorce settlements. However, it works best when you can approach negotiations in good faith. You can learn more about whether mediation is right for your situation by contacting the expert divorce lawyers at the Viola Law Firm in San Mateo.
Our qualified attorneys have decades of experience helping people like you resolve divorces and separations effectively. Schedule your consultation to discuss your situation and decide the best way to move forward with your split.