In the New Year, couples who are getting divorced and can amicably do so can utilize mediation to make the dissolution process far less contentious. This process is far more attractive than a long, drawn-out courtroom battle. Mediation not only cuts out unneeded stress, but it saves money and time. For many, it is more of a team concept of both spouses, a mediator, and a few sessions to iron out the specifics of the divorce.
A mediator will provide guidance to reach a resolution on the issues that still need to be worked out. They bring critical negotiation skills to listen to each party’s interests and concerns, and then help to find a common resolution that each person can agree to. The mediator is a neutral party, and oftentimes an attorney, so they will be able to provide you with a background of what is legally permissible. When an impasse is reached or negativity stalls progress, the mediator knows how to get the conversation back on track. For some couples this means not doing the mediation all in one day. But in two to three sessions, you can resolve all the big priorities of the dissolution.
It is important for you to know what your future needs are so that child support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts are done to help you find as stable of a future as possible. What many people like about mediation is that it allows you to express your values and opinions. A litigated divorce, in contrast, follows a more strict formula and what some call a “one size fits all” approach. Mediation is more sensible for two adults who can be in the same room together and hash out the details. You can take into account the budgets you live with everyday and the future needs you and the kids will have. Mediators also know how to look for tax savings and alternative settlement options to increase the chances of financial stability post-divorce.
Couples who have been through a mediated divorce say that it is far better to have the two people who intimately know their finances and assets decide how to dissolve the marriage versus a judge or pair of attorneys. At the end of the mediation process, a final divorce settlement will be created and approved by the courts. Months down the road, you will thank yourself for doing mediation. The money you saved can go towards the kids, a savings or emergency fund, or establishing yourself in a new home.