The traditional legal process of ending your marriage can be painful due to the fact that the system is adversarial and couples are engaged in a lawsuit. It is my firm belief that any couple who is contemplating ending their marriage should consider utilizing divorce mediation with an experienced professional mediator. (The few exceptions would be if there is domestic violence.)
Most couples are under the impression that they have to amicable and in agreement in order to mediate. I explain to couples that this is simply not the case in many situations. The only thing that people need to agree upon is that they want to use mediation as the process to get divorced, as opposed to engaging in a protracted public court room battle and hiring two separate attorneys.
Spouses are able to eliminate the courtroom battles when they mediate and reach a fair financial settlement to both parties. Additional couples are able to craft their own parenting arrangements, and not have a third party (judge) dictate a parenting schedule to them. The mediation process takes less time than a contested litigation process and is less expensive as the couple is working with one mediator vs. two separate lawyers. Additionally, spouses are able to better communicate about their children long after the divorce is final and reduce significant anger, resentment and stress that are often associated with litigation.
Polly A. Tatum is a family law mediator and attorney at The Law Offices of Polly Tatum, located in Worcester, Massachusetts. She offers a complete range of family law legal services and can be reached at (508) 795-1557. View her firm’s website.