Mediation is often a desirable approach for those filing for divorce. It is often a quicker, less expensive and less stressful way to create a fair and equitable agreement. When both sides collaborate on their divorce through mediation, they have more control over how their post-divorce life will look because they create their solutions with the help of family law attorneys who regularly use this format.
Other important benefits
Keeping the divorce out of court also has other benefits:
- Privacy: Court records are public unless they are sealed, and many couples do not want the details of their divorce a matter for public consumption.
- Sets the tone: Many believe an amiable approach suits a parental partnership that continues after the divorce is final.
- Solutions by the family for the family: No one understands the family’s needs better than the couple, so they can (with the help of attorneys) create solutions that mean less disruption. It can also be easier to follow the arrangement because the couple designed it.
Preparing for the process
The individual circumstances will vary, but the couple should commit to the format by holding positive and open discussions about a wide variety of topics, including custody, dividing assets and support. In preparing for it, the spouse should consider the priorities:
- Know what you need: Make a shortlist of the biggest priorities, which can help set boundaries of what is acceptable. It can be shared custody, staying in the family home, child support, and other matters.
- Know what they need: Determine what is likely on their list. It can help give structure to the mediation.
- Know what you want: Different from a need, these “wants” can still help a spouse articulate secondary priorities on the negotiation table.
- Know what they want: Understanding what is less of a priority for them is helpful during negotiations.
There are different formats
There are several different mediation formats. Nevertheless, working with an attorney who can protect their client’s interests and priorities can help ensure that the agreement is fair and equitable. They can often also offer creative solutions to issues that would otherwise push the divorce to litigation in court.