Divorcing couples may choose to resolve their divorce issues out of court for various reasons. Keeping the matter private, reducing legal fees, and minimizing stress are just some examples.
One of the out of court options to resolve divorce issues is the divorce mediation process. It is a voluntary process. Although success is not guaranteed, the divorce mediation process is often worth considering.
Here are 6 Points to Consider Before Choosing the Divorce Mediation Process:
1. Are both spouses on board with trying the mediation process?
Divorce mediation is a voluntary, non-binding process. Both spouses should be on board with good faith. Ideally, both should hope that the process will be successful. If one spouse feels forced to attend mediation, he or she may attend without the cooperation and open mind needed for the mediation to be successful.
2. Is it important for the divorcing couple to keep their divorce situation private?
The divorce mediation process provides a confidential setting for the divorcing couple to privately discuss their divorce issues. It is important to note that other out of court divorce options, such as collaborative divorce, also provide a confidential, private setting.
3. Does each spouse know his or her legal rights and divorce options?
The divorce mediator is a neutral party who does not provide legal advice. Before choosing the divorce mediation process it is important that each spouse know his or her legal rights and divorce options. Therefore, it is recommended that each spouse consults with his or her own family law attorney for legal advice before choosing the divorce mediation process.
4. Is there a history of domestic violence or is there a power imbalance between the parties?
If so, it is recommended that each spouse consults with his or her own family law attorney to determine if the divorce mediation process could or should be considered an option. Especially if there is a history of domestic violence.
5. Are there immediate or transparency concerns?
If so, it is recommended that the spouse with the concern discuss it privately with his or her own family law attorney prior to agreeing to the divorce mediation process. It is possible that the attorney may advise, depending on the situation, that the divorce mediation process not be considered. Or perhaps the attorney may advise that the divorce mediation process could be an option after a specific immediate concern is resolved. On the other hand, it is possible that the attorney may advise how the concern could be addressed using the mediation process.
6. Are both spouses willing to communicate and work together?
The divorce mediation process provides an opportunity for the divorcing couple to decide together how to resolve their divorce issues. This process requires both spouses engage in conversation and discussion with the mediator acting as a facilitator. It also typically requires each spouse to provide specific deliverables such as financial documents. If one spouse refuses to communicate or work with the other spouse it may make progress difficult. It may also increase the amount of time needed to resolve the issues.