Getting a divorce is an often-complicated process, but there are ways to make it easier for you and your spouse. Divorce mediation is one such way where both spouses decide on the terms and issues of the marriage with the help of a mediator. Many couples choose to go the mediation route for several reasons, many of which are beneficial for both parties.
Mediation begins when the couple, after choosing a mediator, decide on what issues need to be addressed for the divorce, such as child custody, debts, or division of assets. This is done in a neutral setting, either through the mediator’s office or a conference room. There will likely be several sessions, ranging from an hour to a few hours each.
Then, the couple must gather information on the assets, finances, and incomes and share that information with each other and the mediator so that both parties are on equal grounds. At this point, each person should then consult with a lawyer to discuss any legal issues. Then it is decided on how best to proceed, ending, it is hoped, with a settlement agreement.
Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation
It is understandable to have unresolved issues in a divorce, but that is the purpose of mediation. With a mediation, the mediator will listen to both spouses so that an agreement can be reached. This is all done without going to litigation or court. There are other advantages of mediation, such as the following:
- Cost-effective. Filing for divorce before having your marriage issues resolved will likely cost more, as you will need a lawyer to help sort everything out. Using mediation instead lowers the cost of divorce because you do not need to hire a lawyer right away, as well as there are no court costs.
- Less tension. Going through a mediator helps open communication between the two of you, which helps ease tension. It is a process to solve problems, not to create new ones, whereas litigation may cause more stress and arguing between the both of you.
- Scheduling. With litigation, you are at the mercy of the court’s schedule, as well as the lawyers’, whereas with mediation, you can schedule the process as it fits your needs.
- Lawyers. It is recommended to still consult with a lawyer for any legal advice, but mediation does not require you to do so. Furthermore, if you decide after mediation to hire a lawyer, you may do so without delaying the mediation process.
- Confidentiality. Mediation is a private affair, in which it generally involves only the mediator and the couple, unless an expert is consulted for a specific situation. Litigation can become public record.
- Settlement. Not only does mediation give you and your spouse control of what resolutions are reached, but also most mediations will reach settlement without having to battle in court.
Divorce mediation is not for every couple. If there is tension between you and your spouse that is seemingly not able to be resolved, or if there is a history of domestic abuse, divorce mediation may not be for you. It is still possible to proceed with mediation, but if there is any fear for your safety or for your children, mediation is not recommended.
Mediation may also not be for someone who is uncomfortable with negotiating for themselves and may benefit more from a lawyer doing the negotiating. Mediation will probably not go well if your spouse has been deceitful in the past or is a bully, as mediation requires both spouses to fully honest and on an equal playing field.
Marlton Divorce Lawyers at Burnham Douglass Help Couples through the Divorce Process
If you and your spouse have decided on a divorce, reach out to the Marlton divorce lawyers at Burnham Douglass. Our experienced and compassionate law team will help your through the divorce process, protecting your rights and working toward an amicable agreement. Contact us online or call us at 856-751-5505 for a free consultation. We are located in Marlton and Northfield, New Jersey, and we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, Atlantic County, Gloucester County, and Mercer County.