The traditional way of getting divorced is through litigation. The process involves each spouse hiring their own divorce attorney to argue about division of assets, child custody issues, child support and and even things like who gets grandma’s antique China set. This is the way it has always been, but there are other ways to get a divorce that offer alternatives, and couples are turning more and more to divorce mediation as a better way to end their marriages.
In divorce mediation, the spouses me with a mediator to attempt to work out an agreement that addresses all of the terms of their divorce including financial, division of assets and issues regarding the children. Divorce mediation is typically faster, less expensive, and more importantly, less contentious for the couple than the traditional litigated divorce.
Even as mediation becomes more popular there are still many who do not understand exactly what divorce mediation is and how it works.
The following are some of the most common myths regarding divorce mediation.
1. It will never work with my spouse.
It is true that mediation may not be right for every couple and there are marital circumstances that might make this option an impossibility. But it’s important to remember that even though you may not see any possible way that you could work out an agreement between you and your spouse, The job of the mediator is to keep your conversations focused and to help you find common ground. The mediator can assist with helping the spouses make rational and unemotional decisions.
2. I won’t know how to choose a good mediator.
This is not true. It is important that you interview many divorce mediators and ask questions about how much training and experience they have in mediation? What is their philosophy of divorce mediation? Have they mediated a case like yours?
3. They will pressure me to try and save my marriage.
Job of the divorce mediator is not to provide couples therapy or help you work out the differences in your marriage. The purpose of the mediator is to help you find common ground and come up with a divorce agreement that will allow you both to move on with your separate lives in a way that is fair and amicable to all parties.
4. It will risk my losing the kids.
In a traditional divorce, you are putting your future in the hands of a judge will decide what is best for the kids based on the evidence and testimony provided. In divorce mediation, you and your spouse control the outcome and there is no pressure to agree to anything that you do not believe is in the best interest of your family.
Before finalizing any agreement, it is always recommended that you take the proposed agreement to a divorce lawyer for review.