Everyone knows divorce horror stories of marriages that end in the trench warfare of a divorce trial. Anyone who has ever gone through this ordeal knows that the slash-and-burn of divorce warfare takes a heavy toll of everyone involved.
Divorce mediation is a way that divorcing spouses can take the high road, and in the process, avoid a great deal of emotional and financial damage.
In divorce mediation, a neutral third person, called a mediator, sits down for a series of meetings with a divorcing couple to help them reach an agreement about things like property, custody, and support. Most couples arrive at agreements they can live with. This means they don’t have to fight it out in court.
Mediation offers many advantages over court battles, which leave the spouses emotionally exhausted, financially destroyed and emotionally devastated. The parties can go to mediation at any point in a divorce, even if they have hired lawyers. Divorce mediation has an extremely high success rate–the vast majority of cases that go to mediation get settled there.
Divorce mediation works best when both spouses realize that neither is going to get everything he or she wants. Some divorcing people can negotiate directly with a spouse with a minimum of acrimony to come to an agreement about dividing property and parenting children, but many find that the neutral guidance of a mediator works well to help them across the rough patches of give-an-take negotiation.
Generally, mediation is voluntary. Some courts require mediation if spouses can’t agree about child custody. When both spouses cooperate, divorce mediation helps them achieve a fair settlement, that is, one that makes neither of them happy but one that both can live with.