If you are unsure of whether mediation is right for you, here are some questions you can ask yourself, helping guide your decision.
Are You Still Able to Work with Your Spouse?
Whenever a couple divorces, they may make all the necessary arrangements themselves, bypassing the courts. This, however, is not a realistic option for many. Divorce comes from an unhappy place, and it usually breeds angry, resentful feelings. This is where mediation comes in. When couples want to avoid court, but they still need help making decisions, they can choose mediation.
Mediators are specially trained in certain psychological techniques. If talks get heated, they can help keep everyone cool and rational.
If both you and your spouse have a sincere desire to work out your divorce together, mediation may be a good path for you.
Are You Willing to Compromise?
Mediators are legal professionals who work for both spouses. They remain neutral, and their job is to help each spouse walk away satisfied. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to give both parties exactly what they want, but mediators can keep negotiations moving. They can help each party truly hear one another’s needs and concerns, reaching mutually beneficial conclusions.
This, of course, will require compromise. You must be willing to gain a little and lose a little. For some, this is simply not an option. They prefer to dig in their heels, unwilling to bend until they get what they want. That’s a perfectly legitimate viewpoint, but it simply won’t work in a process of negotiation. If you are ready to give up some of your needs for the sake of moving forward, however, mediation may be right for you.
Do You Want Power Over Your Divorce?
When a divorce goes to court, there’s no predicting how it will go. You may have a brilliant legal team with a solid strategy, but ultimately, the court will make all the decisions. This gives you no power over the outcomes. When the court makes its ruling, that decision is final, and legally, you must go along with whatever it says.
Mediation, however, gives you agency over your divorce. You may not get everything you want, but you will be an active participant in each decision. Everything that happens in mediation is something you agreed to, and you can leave the marriage knowing you weren’t forced into doing anything you didn’t want.
How Much Do You Want to Spend on the Divorce?
Divorce is expensive. Even if you spend no money on lawyers, you still have to pay court fees. The second you involve attorneys, the expenses start to pile up.
When your divorce goes to court, the costs really begin to exacerbate. Every step your attorney takes in making one claim costs money. They must investigate, gather evidence, and build a case. They must also answer each claim the other side makes, going through the same processes.
These fees expand when you’ve been ordered to pay your spouse’s legal fees. In the worst-case scenarios, the other side could be guilty of “churning.” This is an unscrupulous practice where the opposing attorney throws baseless claims into the case just to keep it going and continue getting paid.
Mediation is far less expensive than taking your case to court. You pay one mediator for their time. The quicker you solve your issues, the less costly the mediation is. After coming to terms, you submit your agreements to the courts, pay any necessary legal fees, and you’re done.
Our firm is here to help couples who are ready to mediate their divorce. For a consultation , call us at (803) 938-4952, or contact us online.