In a study conducted in 2003, researchers found that 74 percent of people blamed their ex for not doing enough to save their marriage. Research has also discovered that people commonly cite an inability to communicate as a reason why they got divorced. While mediation may not be able to save a marriage, it could make it easier for you to get what you need from a divorce.
Divorce Mediation Sessions Are Conducted by Neutral Parties
The goal of a mediation session is to get both parties talking without fear of being judged or ridiculed. To help facilitate this process, a neutral third party will keep tabs on the participants and take steps to guide the conversation. Both sides are encouraged to speak, and neither side is allowed to take personal shots or say anything that doesn’t help achieve a timely divorce settlement.
Mediation Can Cost Less Than Litigation
It may be worthwhile to consult with a family lawyer prior to signing off on a binding agreement reached during mediation. However, no lawyer is needed during the negotiations themselves, which can keep legal fees to a minimum. Instead, the parties to the divorce will work out their issues and come to an agreement that is best for them. By communicating openly and honestly, a resolution can usually be reached in less time than if a couple chooses litigation while avoiding some or all court costs.
The Participants Themselves Control the Process
When you decide to leave a divorce ruling up to a judge, you might not get a favorable result. Even if the result is favorable, it may not be what either you or the other party to the divorce expected it to be. By creating an agreement through mediation, you will know exactly what its terms are and have a direct say in creating them. As with a judge’s ruling, the terms of a mediation agreement are binding once they have been agreed to and approved.
Preserve Relationships with Parents and Children
While a marriage can come to an end, you still have an obligation to raise your child to adulthood. In most cases, this means working with the other parent to achieve that goal. By engaging in mediation as opposed to litigation, you can learn how to communicate with the other parent in a positive and focused manner.
This can show children how adults come together to solve their problems in a healthy way. If parents learn how to work out their issues with each other, it keeps the children from being exposed to drama. It can also keep them from being used either intentionally or inadvertently as pawns in parental conflict.
Talking Through Problems Can Bring Closure
Even if you don’t have children, mediation can still help resolve emotional or other issues that arose during a relationship. By getting closure, you may be able to learn from mistakes made during the relationship and not repeat them in the future. In some cases, those who believed that their spouse was the reason why the relationship failed will understand how their own actions could have contributed to its downfall. This insight can be helpful in future relationships.
Not All Issues Need to Be Resolved Through Mediation
It is important to point out that not all issues need to be resolved in mediation. For instance, you could decide to create a parenting plan with the help of a mediator while taking property division issues to a judge. You could also choose to deal with property division issues in mediation and ask a judge to determine child custody matters.
If you do work with your former spouse to create a parenting plan either privately or after consulting with a neutral party, those plans are still subject to approval from a judge. However, courts are inclined to go with what the parents feel is best as long as there are no significant issues with their chosen arrangement. Remember, a child custody agreement needs to be in the best interest of the child to be valid.
Parents or others who are looking to use collaborative law or other alternative methods to resolve a divorce can contact Joanne Kleiner & Associates at their earliest convenience. We practice in the areas of divorce law and family law. The phone number for the office in Jenkintown is (215)-886-1266.