May 14, 2020
3 Advantages to Mediating Your Divorce
It takes two people to get married. However, it takes only one to decide to divorce. Once that person makes the decision, it is up to both of you to decide how you divorce.
How You Divorce Matters: Litigation vs Mediation
Choosing litigation can be extremely costly and create angst, anger and a highly emotional battle over custody, support, and distribution of the marital estate [your financial future]. Or you can choose mediation —a cost-effective divorce program that allows you to work with an neutral attorney-mediator . With this guidance you can work through custody, support and the financial decisions face-to face to resolve issues and concerns.
As an attorney-mediator, I believe no other divorce option offers the advantages that mediation provides. What does it take to mediate your divorce? You and your spouse are both willing to voluntarily attend and actively participate in mediation. Be willing to listen to each other and be open to options offered by the mediator who can provide the information you need to make an informed decision.
3 Reasons Mediation is the Best Path to a Brighter Future
If you are considering whether mediation is the best option for your divorce, let me share 3 advantages to mediating your divorce.
Put the Kids First
The first advantage — you put your children and custody decisions first. Any divorce lawyer will tell you that divorce is hard on you, but it is even be harder on your children.
If you are heading to court to litigate [fight over] custody, consider your children’s feelings. They are already feeling uncertain and vulnerable. Especially if they witnessed and experienced arguments, fights, uneasy silences or one parent has moved out. Perhaps they have uncertain feelings about the future or guilt that somehow, they are responsible for the divorce.
And now, mom and dad are asking the children to talk with one or more child psychologists who will submit an opinion to the court on who should have primary physical custody. The process is clearly adversarial and uncomfortable for any child. Just think, do you want your child to have to answer the question in court, “Who do you want to live with?”
As a mediator, we think that you, mom and dad, know what is in the best interest of your children. We are not there to judge who is going to be the better parent. We offer guidance in making your custody and co-parenting decisions. We constantly remind parents that you will always be in the other person’s life because of the children and you will have to continue to work with each other for a long time. So, start now.
Mediation Encourages Joint Decisions not Confrontation
The second advantage to mediation is that it is, generally, a more peaceful program to go through. Litigation is an antagonistic process and can create intense emotion. But simply because you have made the decision to get divorced does not mean that you need to destroy the other person.
Mediation, on the other hand, is a program that calls for respect of the other person and focuses each party on resolving their differences and getting to what is the best result for both parties. It is not focused on winning but focused on finding the middle ground where both parties can problem solve with the guidance of their mediator.
Your Future Financial Stability vs High Legal Fees
The third advantage to mediating your divorce is that it is less expensive than litigation. The average litigated divorce can easily cost each person $25,000.00.
Anyone who has been through the process knows that most divorce lawyers require an initial retainer from a couple of thousand dollars up to $10,000.00 depending upon the complexity of the case. Once that retainer is exhausted, you need to replenish that amount. Every phone call, meeting, preparation of pleadings, trip to the courthouse, etc. deplete the retainer. So, it is easy to see how the cost of divorce can skyrocket if you litigate every aspect of your divorce.
In contrast, Alpha Center offers a flat-fee service so you know up-front exactly what your mediation will cost from start to finish. There is no question as to how much this will cost. You know from the start of the program. And since we only do divorce mediation, your case will not be competing with other types of cases.
Mediation is about seeking resolution and agreement rather than ‘winning ‘an argument against the other person, so solutions are reached in a more practical, reasoned approach.
If you have any questions or would just like information about how Alpha’s mediation program may work for you, please reach out to use at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation.
Michael Hughes, Esq. is an attorney-mediator with the Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation. Click here for his profile.
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