As you go through the process of divorce, one term you will hear is mediation. Divorce mediation allows a couple to try to come to a resolution on their own, through the help of a neutral mediator. Mediation may be done via a private mediator, or as part of the Arizona court process. Either way, the mediator does not have the ability to make rulings, as a judge would, so mediation will only be successful if both parties are willing to come to a decision together. It’s worth trying, though, as divorce mediation can offer several benefits.
Stay Out of Court
First thing’s first: Divorce mediation has the potential to keep you out of court, which is better for everyone involved. When divorces go to court, they take longer and become much more complex. You will need to schedule a court date and prepare, and then each side will need to present their case before the judge can making a ruling. This means a longer, more drawn-out process that will prolong this uncertain and difficult time for everyone.
Going to court isn’t the last approach only because it takes longer. A lengthy court process is also expensive, and the longer it takes, the more expensive it gets! Mediation is a way to try to reach a mutual agreement sooner and with fewer legal expenses. Fortunately, money is a great motivator, and many people are willing to come to an agreement in mediation if only to save the cost of going to court.
Avoid Meeting Face-To-Face
Divorce mediation may not be what you’re expecting. Frequently couples think that since they’ve been unable to come to any agreement on their own, mediation will be a waste of time, but mediation is specifically designed to eliminate all of the friction from the process. If your attempts to arrive at an agreement have been undermined by fighting, mediation can take place with you and your ex in different rooms. The mediator will go back and forth, as a neutral third party who can present offers and counteroffers. This often enables resolutions on sticking points that were exacerbated by the tension of a face-to-face meeting.
Retain More Control Over the Divorce Agreement
When a divorce goes to court, it’s ultimately because neither party was willing to compromise, making any mutual agreement impossible. Unfortunately, this gives the judge full control over the terms of your divorce agreement, and you may end up with a worse deal than if you had just compromised. The judge may not see things the way you or your ex do, and the end result is that the judge’s idea of fair may not be satisfactory for either one of you. Divorce mediation gives you the opportunity to make one last attempt at a mutual agreement. While you both may need to compromise, at least the two of you will retain control over the end result.
Divorce mediation is a powerful tool for resolving even the most difficult disagreements, but it’s not necessarily a replacement for legal representation. It is perfectly acceptable to have your lawyer with you in mediation to help advise you and ensure the resulting divorce agreement is fair. For more information about how divorce mediation works, or to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of in your divorce proceedings, contact Simon Law Group today.