Divorce is hard on families, and that's a simple fact. And when minor children are involved, the situation becomes even more poignant. How do you separate cleanly from your spouse without feeling like you're coming away with nothing? How do reach an amicable agreement regarding your children, your home, and your belongings without dragging everyone you love through the mud? The answer lies in mediation. During mediation, you, your divorce lawyer, your spouse, his attorney, and other family members or expert witnesses who are pertinent to the case will meet regularly with a neutral, third-party negotiator to help settle the finer points of your divorce:
- How the custody of minor children will be handled
- How materials possessions will be distributed
- Who will remain living in the family home or whether it will be divided and sold
While meeting with a neutral mediator during your divorce isn't obligatory, in most instances, it's preferable to simply arguing things out in court for the world to see and hear.
What to Expect at Mediation
The mediation process is informal and not presided over by a judge. It's simply an opportunity for all interested parties to come together in a room and talk about how they would like to handle the custody of minors, the distribution of property, and any other details that need ironing out.
During a typical mediation, everyone sits down at a table together and discusses rules, timelines, and other factors that they feel need addressing. In the case of child custody, for instance, you and your spouse -- guided by legal information provided by your divorce lawyers -- might discuss whether one parent will be custodial or if the parenting task will be shared equally. You might hammer out the exact details of how the children will spend alternate weekends and holidays. You'll discuss who gets the car, whether your home gets sold, and whether monetary spousal support is desired.
Why Mediation Beats Litigation
In most cases of divorce, it's better to hammer things out behind closed doors than it is to take one another to court to divide the assets. If mediation that's agreeable to both parties can't be reached, then litigation is the next logical step. Once your divorce hits the courtroom stage, however, it can quickly become stressful for every member of the family. Often things are said and information is presented in court that's hurtful not only to one spouse or the other, but to the children as well.
If you're in the beginning stages of divorce, talk with your divorce lawyer today about getting your family into mediation. It will benefit everyone involved. If you have questions about the process, contact a local lawyer that provides family and divorces services, such as Daboll J Leigh.