Preparing for divorce presents a lot of variables. As your family changes, you must make significant decisions about how to disassemble the life you have built with your spouse and reassemble it into your new life on your own. If you have children, property, or a business together, the process can be especially complicated.
No matter your situation, it is important to explore all of your options when it comes to divorce. Unlike some other legal situations, divorce can be customized to your family’s unique needs. Divorces all proceed differently, so you may have the opportunity to make the process easier if your situation allows.
Mediation is one way to simplify and streamline the divorce process. Many people have had significant luck with mediation, but it does not work for everyone. If you are facing divorce, it is important to explore your options so that you can do what’s best for you and your family. With the right information on your side, you can navigate your divorce with confidence and use all of the legal tools at your disposal.
What Is Mediation?
When most people think about divorce, they think of courtroom litigation involving two lawyers arguing before a judge. Though this is certainly one method of going through the divorce process, mediation does not involve these factors.
Rather than having two attorneys, mediation only requires one. The purpose of the attorney is to oversee the negotiations between two divorcing spouses. Spouses discuss between themselves what the terms of their divorce should be. The mediation attorney ensures that the final agreement is legal and fair and facilitates the conversation when necessary.
When the two spouses have agreed upon the terms of their divorce, their case must be brought before a judge for approval. However, unlike courtroom litigation divorces, the judge is not involved throughout the whole process.
Benefits of Mediation
There are many benefits to using mediation rather than courtroom litigation for your divorce. If the method is right for you, you can take advantage of these benefits.
Perhaps the clearest benefit to mediation is the cost. Because you are only using the services of one attorney, you can save significantly on attorney fees and hourly rates. You also spend less time in court, which can result in minimized court fees and added savings. Many people in mediation collaborate easily, meaning that the process is faster and, overall, less expensive.
Another benefit is in the category of stress and emotional demand. Mediation can take a lot of stress out of the divorce process, as you and your spouse will work together rather than fighting one another. Of course, you may still have disagreements. However, with mediation, you can learn to overcome them calmly and efficiently rather than allowing your attorneys to argue your point. Many couples feel that they have more control over their divorce during mediation, which gives them an overall sense of ease. If some items or issues are especially important to you, you have the power to negotiate them yourself. This often leads to better outcomes and less stress.
Mediation and Child Support
The mediation process may be different if you have children. Though you may be able to negotiate property division through mediation, negotiating child custody and child support is different. A judge must be involved in these decisions, as they must ensure that the child’s safety is considered.
If you have children and are using mediation, you may draft a proposed child custody or child support plan in mediation. However, you can expect an extended process for it to be finalized. A judge will need to be especially thorough to ensure that your children are properly cared for. This is not a reflection of you, your spouse, or your mediation capabilities; it is simply required by law.
Is Mediation Right for Me?
Though mediation is an appealing prospect, it is not the right choice in every divorce situation. You and your spouse should meet a few requirements before exploring mediation.
Primarily, you will want to make sure that you and your spouse are divorcing amicably or cordially. Mediation is not effective in situations where spouses cannot communicate without fighting or yelling. You must be able to put your differences aside and speak calmly about your assets and property, who should own which items, and what to do going forward. If you believe this may be too difficult for you, mediation may not be the right choice.
You may also want to avoid mediation if your spouse has a history of lying or concealing important information. Divorce requires each spouse to disclose all of their assets and accounts so that the court or mediation attorney can determine what needs to be divided. If you do not trust your spouse to disclose all of the information necessary, it is best to allow attorneys to handle the negotiations for you.
Finally, in unique scenarios such as divorces with prenuptial agreements, high asset divorces, or divorces in which the couple owns a business together, mediation may be too strenuous. These situations can be complicated from a legal standpoint and may require courtroom litigation.
Why Do I Need a Mediation Attorney?
Some people question the necessity of a mediation attorney if the spouses are negotiating the divorce terms. Though this is a valid question, it is important to remember that there are strict laws when it comes to divorce. You must split marital property equally, and some assets from before your marriage may be eligible to be split as well. You need a qualified mediation attorney to ensure that your terms are legal and that you are both getting a fair portion of your assets.
Contact McCunn Law
If you are looking for collaborative legal services for your divorce, our team at McCunn Law can help. We have many years of experience mediating divorces in Granite Bay, CA, and we can help you to navigate yours as well. No matter your scenario, we have the resources to give you the legal support that you require.
To learn more about working with our team, contact us online today.