Going through the divorce process can be expensive and time consuming. Attorneys spend countless billable hours discussing the case with their clients and opposing counsel, sifting through financial documents, drafting legal instruments, and attending court hearings. Family mediation can be used as an important tool for divorcing couples to save time and money, while providing an out of court solution that both parties find fair.
Family mediation involves both halves of a divorcing couple attending meetings with a professional mediator. Together all three will hash out the terms and conditions of the couples divorce. Professional mediators are trained to be completely unbiased and are able to offer useful advice which can prevent couples from having to go through the stress of a courtroom battle. Once arguments start to be made in court, the judge has the final say, and the divorcing couple no longer decides their own destiny. With mediation, if the couples can agree to certain terms, those terms will be drafted into a summary for the couple’s attorneys to review, and ultimately a legally binding document can be produced. Mediation can speed up the divorce process quite dramatically while empowering the divorcing couple to make their own decisions regarding splitting assets and their children’s time.
Unfortunately, family mediation is not for everyone. Divorcing couples must agree to attend mediation, unless the court orders it, and even then both parties must be willing to compromise and listen to their mediator’s advice. Couples that are stubborn and uncooperative are just wasting their time and money attending mediation. Another drawback regarding mediation is that mediators are unable to officer legal advice, thus divorcing couples will still need to retain an attorney throughout their divorce case. However, if couples successfully attend mediation, attorney fees will be much lower.
The future for family mediation is encouraging. More and more mediators are becoming licensed, and courts around the country are making mediation compulsory. Divorcing couples are attending mediation at record high numbers. These couples are saving time and money, and developing their own strategy for getting through the tough process of divorce.
Caleb R. Biesterveld
Quinn Law Associates, P.A.
Quinn Law Associates does not guarantee particular results.