Divorce can be a stressful process, but there are ways to walk away from your marriage with a sense of control and optimism about the future. While we tend to think of divorce ending in a heated and bitter courtroom battle, this does not have to be your reality. Instead of dreading the impersonal and intimidating court appearances, why not consider a more relaxed and collaborative process? Mediation, a process that encourages divorcing couples to negotiate and resolve their disputes in the presence of a neutral moderator, empowers people to take control over their divorces and work towards an equitable solution. Here are some reasons why you may want to consider resolving your divorce through mediation.
The Mediation Process
Once you and your spouse have acknowledged that you wish to file for divorce, you can decide to pursue this process through mediation. In order for mediation to be successful, you and your spouse must be able to communicate in an open and civil manner. If this is the case, then you will typically meet with the mediator to learn more about what to expect from the process and how you will proceed with negotiating the terms of your divorce, such as the division of your property, child custody, and child support arrangements, or spousal support payments. During this initial session, the mediator will observe how well you and your spouse communicate and make a note of how to best facilitate your collaboration efforts during future meetings. You will then meet a couple more times to discuss the terms of your divorce, and once all of these issues have been resolved, the mediator will compose a divorce agreement for you, your spouse, and your attorneys (if you are using them) to sign and submit to the judge for final approval.
No Set Time Limitation
There is no mandatory time limit for completing the mediation process. Of course, the more meetings you have, the more expensive the process becomes, so the majority of couples aim to conclude the process within a few sessions. Since you and your spouse are able to speak to one another and share in the process, thereby streamlining the entire divorce proceeding, mediation usually ends up costing substantially less than litigating your case in court.
Tips for Successful Mediation
Although mediation may not be right for all divorcing couples, many spouses find the process empowering. In order to enjoy a successful mediation, it is critical that you and your spouse are able to communicate effectively and work towards a common goal. If there is a history of domestic violence or emotional abuse, mediation may be nearly impossible. If you and your spouse cannot see eye to eye on custody arrangements, you may want to resolve your divorce using a different method. Also, if think your spouse will try to hide important information from you, such as their financial records or bank statements, you should consider taking a more aggressive approach. However, for couples who are still on relatively civil terms and who are able to be forthcoming with one another, mediation can certainly provide a cost-effective method for successfully walking away from your marriage.
To learn more about mediation in the Portland-Metro area, contact Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. today at (503) 233-8868.