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The Benefits of Trying Divorce Mediation First

Divorce mediation is often a better option for the dissolution of a marriage. The act of dividing a previously shared life into separate worlds includes issues of assets, finances, and future plans, and those discussions can be difficult. More importantly, divorce often includes serious, often difficult, discussions about custody and the financial care of children from the marriage. Mediation makes the process courtroom-driven and more like amiable negotiations.

During this trying time, the divorcing parties both need their own legal counsel. However, the traditional two-lawyer approach is no longer the only option for couples trying to dissolve their marriage. Mediation is a collaborative approach to divorce that often saves both individuals money, time, and stress. If you’re looking for a Fort Mill divorce mediation attorney, contact our firm today.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process performed by a professional mediator or arbitrator who is often (but not always) also a divorce attorney. This professional works with both individuals at the same time through sessions that are more like negotiations with practical resolutions to which both parties can agree.

Through a series of controlled discussions, each spouse voices his or her view on issues of finances, custody, and property freely. If the discussion turns heated or emotions begin to run high, the mediator can steer the conversation back to a more amiable tone. Additionally, the mediator provides solutions or helps either party to articulate legal ideas they may not fully understand. The goal is that by the end of the sessions, a divorce with terms that both parties agree on is ready for finalization in court.

In addition to both individuals working with one mediator, other scenarios exist where each couple has their own mediator and all four individuals meet to discuss the points of the divorce. It is also possible to bring in a traditional attorney for one or both people for limited representation throughout the proceedings or on specific issues that require the extra technical attention.

When is Mediation Right?

Mediation is an excellent choice for many divorcing couples, but it is not right for everyone. A couple considering mediation may wonder under what circumstances is it a viable option.

  • Both parties are willing to have an open discussion about all aspects of their divorce.
  • Both parties have access to/and understanding of shared finances and assets.
  • Children are involved, and both parents want to have a reasonable and collaborative discussion about custody.

When is mediation not the right decision? Only the divorcing couple can decide this. However, several legitimate reasons and concerns can lead people to believe it is not the best option for them.

  • Discussions between spouses often turn violent, hostile, or unmanageable.
  • The two individuals have opposite or nearly opposite opinions of how the divorce will take place.
  • One party is trying to receive large sums of money from child support or alimony that the other party feels is unfair.

With those points in mind, it is important to note that couples do not have to get along or remain friends to have a collaborative and communicative divorce through mediation. In fact, they can disagree strongly and argue in the sessions. However, they must be civil, on speaking terms, and emotionally stable enough that the mediator can keep the charge of the situation.

For many divorcing couples, mediation is a less stressful answer that usually saves time and money. Even if the couple eventually brings in traditional divorce attorneys, mediation can expedite the process and offer valuable insight into the divorce. If you are divorcing and are not sure whether mediation is right for you, contact a mediator or divorce attorney at today.

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