One of the last things you probably want to do if you are ending your marriage is be in the same place with your ex and find resolutions to complicated family legal issues together through mediation. In fact, you might be so angry, hurt or fed up with your ex that you see litigation as the only option for your divorce.
However, before you completely write off the idea of mediation as a means of resolving divorce-related issues, you should understand that mediation could actually be in your best interests.
Some benefits of mediation
As noted in this article from The North Carolina Court System website, mediation comes with benefits which you may not be aware of. Generally speaking, it can be faster and less expensive than courtroom procedures. It can also allow you to have more control over the resulting resolutions, as you and your ex can resolve matters yourselves and with the help of a mediator, instead of having a stranger make these decisions for you.
It is not an all-or-nothing process
You don’t necessarily need to resolve all divorce-related issues through mediation, and in fact, it may not even be possible to do so. For instance, in cases where there are complicated or substantial assets involved, the courts may need to make determinations on property division to ensure it is done accurately and fairly.
However, if you can resolve one or some of the issues through mediation, there is less for the courts to do, again, saving you time and money.
Additionally, while you may not reach a final resolution in a day of mediation, it can open the lines of communication and settlement negotiations may continue after mediation. Some divorcing spouses may even come back for a second day of mediation if progress is continuing to be made.
You do not have to go through mediation alone
Out-of-court dispute resolution methods like mediation do not require you to go through the process alone. For most family law mediations, the parties are in separate rooms and each has their own lawyer with them to help protect their legal interests and guide them in making decisions. You will work with a mediator trained in helping two feuding parties find common ground and who has experience dealing with family law issues. This person will generally go back and forth between the rooms helping the parties exchange proposals, and can help divorcing spouses communicate more effectively and find creative solutions to their issues.
Your attorney can be a critical resource and ally in mediation. He or she can ensure your rights are protected throughout the mediation process, negotiate on your behalf and guide you through this difficult event to find a fair, satisfactory resolution that protects your best interests now and in the future.