Mediation – A Better Alternative to a “Do-It-Yourself” Divorce.

mediation

In an amicable divorce, there is rarely a reason to involve attorneys, who will no doubt escalate the situation into a hostile, financially stressful process for the parties involved. However, involving an experienced mediator in an amicable divorce makes a lot of sense, even in a situation in which the parties agree on everything from the outset. For the reasons explained below, couples considering divorce should consult with a mediator, who can help to maintain amicable communication between the parties in a cost-efficient manner, without adding a financial burden to the process.

Avoid Going to Court: Many couples go to the Courthouse with the intent of filing the documents required for a divorce, and become overwhelmed by the paperwork and process involved. Parties often discover that the time and stress is not worth the small cost involved to have a mediation firm handle all of the paperwork without the risk of rejection by the Court. Divorce is stressful enough without trying to navigate the Court system, wait in long lines at the courthouse, and risk filling out paperwork incorrectly or incompletely.

Make Fully-Informed Decisions: Decisions made during a divorce have a life-long impact on parties and their children. Agreements are made involving all of the parties’ assets and debts, parenting, and spousal maintenance. Many of these agreements are non-modifiable (i.e. they can never be changed). An experienced professional mediator provides legal, financial and tax information to divorcing parties to ensure that they understand their options and are making make fully-informed decisions, before the parties sign a binding settlement agreement that memorializes all of these agreements.

Avoid an Imbalance of Power: Without a neutral third party present, some parties may feel intimidated by their spouse. This is especially the case when one party has managed finances, and the other party feels uninformed or disadvantaged in terms of making fully-informed decisions for his or her best interest. A professional mediator can ensure a balance of power, by helping the less informed party understand the couples’ finances, and to structure a mediation process than allows a greater balance of power, such as using separate sessions at times.

Avoid Emotionally-Based Decisions: In a divorce, including an amicable divorce, it can be easy to make decisions based on one’s emotions, whether it be sadness, frustration, or guilt. With the help of a professional mediator who has backgrounds in both law and psychology, the parties will be able to manage these emotions in a way that does not impact informed decisions making; that is, continuing to negotiate and communicate effectively and make sensible, pragmatic and financially-savvy decisions.

Benefit the Children Involved: It goes without saying that even an amicable divorce impacts the children involved. By involving a professional mediator, parties are able to go through a divorce in the least stressful, and most informed way possible, so that their own stress is reduced. In turn, this reduction in parents’ stress reduces the impact on their children. Additionally, since the mediation firm handles all of the procedural and administrative elements of a divorce, divorcing parents can turn their energy toward their children and their children’s needs throughout this process.

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