Arriving at the decision to divorce is no easy process—and quite frankly, going through the process of divorce isn’t any easier. Divorce can be a difficult and arduous season for all involved—the two getting the divorce, the children, the families surrounding the divorcing couple, and even their community. Once you’ve decided to pursue divorce, the next choice that could be hugely beneficial to all parties involved is how to proceed. Is mediation an option that should be considered?  Some things to think about are:

A mediator works for both parties

One huge difference between mediation and litigation is that a lawyer can only represent the interests of one of you in a divorce case. It is a conflict of interest for one attorney to represent two people in a divorce case. A mediator, however, is hired by both parties to help them reach an agreement that is in the best interest of both parties. An attorney is generally seeking a more one-sided win for their client; in the divorcing couple works for an outcome that works in the interest of both.

Mediation can create consensus, rather than animosity

Pursuing divorce settlement with a lawyer can create an adversarial setting and increase animosity, while pursing a divorce agreement with a mediator helps create consensus and future-looking beneficial settlements for all involved. The mediation process itself can help the couple create a better post decree relationship.

Mediation is a quicker process

Mediation often takes far less time than litigation. Litigation is reliant on the schedules of the attorneys and the court, Mediation is conducted at the pace set by the divorcing couple and the mediator. Legal documents still need to be completed and filed, but in mediation, that happens by agreement of divorcing couple and after agreement has been reached, rather than throughout the often deleterious process based on the court’s schedule.

The very definition of “mediate” describes a process of agreement and reconciliation. Legal battles have a propensity to create contention and add to the difficulty of a divorce situation—mediation works to resolve the issues by mutual agreement. When divorce is imminent consider how you want your divorce to happen and the future of the relationship—clearly, your relationship will never be the same as it once was, but with mediation, it doesn’t have to be a life-long war either.

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