Divorce is a stressful and often antagonistic process. If parties have come to the point where they are wanting to end their relationship, it is safe to say that they may not be getting along.
Many people believe that divorce is going to end up in a lengthy court proceeding, but that does not have to be the case. In fact, many times, mediation is the best option for the parties, but how do you know if mediation is right for your case?
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution technique involving the parties in the case and a third-party neutral mediator. This person’s role is to facilitate a healthy discussion to come to an agreement on some or all of the issues of the case.
Mediation brings parties to the table where they can craft an agreement that works to their situation. It allows for a lot more creativity than the typical court proceeding.
One of the benefits of mediation is it provides parties an open forum to communicate about the issues at hand. In a court hearing, they are bound by rules of evidence and by what their attorneys and the judge will allow.
An underlying concern may exist for why one party wants something out of the divorce, one that may have actually nothing to do with the item he or she wants, but rather the fact that the person wants to be able to express his or her thoughts or positions. Mediation allows this forum, as much as parties are able to utilize it.
Legal proceedings are expensive. Mediation can be an excellent way of saving on costs and still finalizing a divorce. If parties end up going to court, the legal fees can add up with the cost of collecting evidence, sifting through exhibits, preparing testimony, obtaining depositions and more.
Attorneys have to put a lot of work and time into getting ready for a hearing, and this time equals money. If parties are looking for a way to end their marriage but still save on costs, mediation may be the best option.
Assistance From A Neutral Party
One of the benefits of mediation is the assistance of the mediator. He or she is a neutral party and comes to the table with absolutely no preconceptions or biases on the case.
The mediator lists to both sides and utilizes his or her knowledge and experience to come to recommendations on what the parties should do. Sometimes it helps for an outsider to take a step back and examine a situation for parties to see what would really be best. It adds an element of perspective that could be missing in the middle of a heated court battle.
Element Of Privacy
Mediation also is a confidential proceeding. Anything said in mediation is normally confidential and cannot be used later against the other party, with very few exceptions. This confidentiality is meant to facilitate open and honest discussions between parties.
They will not be hesitant to make statements they would not otherwise have said in any other situation. This openness and honesty can also help facilitate movement in the case and possibly help resolve the matter in the end.
Establish A Cooperative Post-Relationship
Once all is said and done and the divorce is finalized, and especially if the parties have children, they still have to exist with each other. Emotions may be high at the time of the mediation, but at some point in time, the attorneys will no longer be involved and they will have to communicate with each other.
However, this possibility could be less likely if the parties are forced to testify against each other in court. Mediation can help prevent resentment from continuing once everything is done.
Coming To A Creative Agreement
The problem with going to court is that the parties are putting their lives in the hands of a judge who actually knows very little about them. It is possible that neither party is going to walk away with an order that makes them happy.
The chances of the parties being more satisfied with the final result are higher with mediation. The reason for this is the parties are able to come to an agreement that they want, one that they helped create, and one that they are more likely to keep up with in the long run.
Call Kelli J Malcolm Today
Divorce is complicated and can be a stressful matter for anyone, and we are here to help you through the process. Call the Law Offices of Kelli J Malcolm today for your free 30-minute phone consultation at 720-261-7287.