The goal of a divorce is to dissolve a marriage. While that goal may be simple, the divorce process is often complex. State laws vary concerning when a person can get a divorce, and couples may find it harder to compromise on certain issues than they thought.
Every state in the U.S. now allows no-fault divorce, which does not require a court to find that spousal misconduct, adultery, or abuse occurred. Instead, the court may grant a divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences or a finding that the marriage relationship is no longer viable.
While you may be assured that a divorce is possible, you still need to figure out the terms of the divorce, including:
If you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement about these decisions, then the court will make the decisions for you. Many divorcing couples want to maintain as much control over these decisions as possible. That is why many choose to enter divorce mediation to work out an agreement to present to a judge.
Divorce mediation involves you and your spouse meeting with a mediator, a neutral third party who helps you work through a divorce settlement. A mediator will gather information from both sides, analyze the information and help you reach a fair settlement. The mediation process may occur in one session or multiple sessions. Both you and your spouse can each have lawyers present as well.
A divorce mediator is a trained professional who knows how to help divorcing couples find compromise. It is easy to lose yourself to the stress and emotion of the divorce process, but a mediator helps to keep you focused on finding a resolution that you can live with.
Divorce mediation has a number of benefits. These include:
While divorce mediation is appropriate in most cases for the reasons described above, there may be situations when it is not appropriate. For example, if you are intimidated by or fearful of your spouse because of actual or the threat of domestic violence, then it may be better to assert your interests in court. In such cases, while mediation may still work, it is important that you have your own family law attorney representing you.
A divorce is often difficult, emotionally, financially, and legally. Mediation does not take away all of the difficulties, but it does allow spouses to communicate with each other and to walk away with a negotiated settlement agreement that they both approved of, allowing them to start working on their future. This option could be right for your divorce as well.