Whether you have significant assets to divide or are concerned about child custody and visitation, the last thing you want is a drawn-out court battle. Not only is it stressful and uncertain, but it is also likely to be expensive and time-consuming.
In general, you’ll spend less on your divorce as you are able to resolve your issues out of court. Sometimes, court is necessary, but there are drawbacks. Courtroom litigation is almost always the most expensive way to resolve an issue. Having a trial means waiting long months for a court date. And, what happens in court is part of the public record.
In addition, courts are somewhat limited in what resolutions they can offer. Each issue is addressed separately, with a winner and a loser on each. You have little control over the process or what happens. A final result will be dictated to you. You have limited rights to appeal.
Have you considered mediation?
Both prominent, high-net-worth couples and more ordinary folks can benefit from using mediation to resolve their divorce issues. If you are able to resolve them out of court, the result is a divorce settlement agreement. This is a contract that the court or the parties can elect to turn into a court order. If you succeed in resolving all of your issues without a trial, you can file for an uncontested divorce with no trial after you have been separated for the required amount of time.
Mediation is not like a trial. Instead of a judge, the mediator is a neutral facilitator who has no authority to dictate or make rulings. The mediator’s goal is to facilitate a useful discussion and a result you can feel comfortable with. Instead of having a winner and loser on each issue, you can craft a win-win resolution in many cases. The most beneficial part of mediation is that you get to control the process and the outcome more than if you allow a stranger to make a decision about your case.
Mediation is confidential and private. This means that any settlement proposals discussed during mediation cannot be used against you later, if you decide to go to trial. It also means that your negotiations will remain off the public record, with only your final settlement being filed with the court.
Mediation creates a cooperative environment, which is typically much less adversarial. You don’t have to fight tooth and nail with your divorcing spouse. Instead, you can preserve your relationship so that you can work together on co-parenting and other issues that may arise from your marriage.
If you would like to consider mediation in your divorce, talk to your divorce attorney right away.