You've spent much of your adult life married. You and your spouse own a home, have retirement accounts and devote much of your time to your minor children. However, issues have arisen that simply can't get resolved. You know that divorce is inevitable, because your marriage can't be saved. However, you're worried about the process of divorcing. How will the courts rule on important issues, like child custody and asset division? Will your children end up emotionally damaged by the divorce?
Instead of staying in an unhealthy marriage out of fear of divorce, you may want to consider divorce mediation. If you and your former spouse can still communicate with one another and are capable of compromise, mediation could be a faster and less damaging alternative to traditional divorce litigation.
What is mediation and how does it work?
Mediation in divorces involves both spouses and their individual attorneys sitting down with a neutral third party to set the terms of the divorce. Instead of going to court and testifying or presenting evidence, you both agree to discuss the various issues in your divorce and find mutually agreeable compromises.
You won't be going over why you're getting divorced or trying to place blame for the failure of your marriage. This isn't therapy, although it can help you and your spouse find common ground and build a better foundation for future co-parenting efforts.
Divorce mediation is a process intended to help you and your spouse come to acceptable terms about the various aspects of your divorce. From who gets the house (or if you should sell it and split the equity) to how your child custody arrangements will work, including the division of holidays and summer vacation, mediation can help you resolve the biggest considerations that often result in contentious and drawn-out divorces.
Mediation can protect your kids from the damage of divorce
Some of the worst aspects about divorce, from a child's point of view, are listening to your parents testify against each other in court, getting asked to choose whom to live with and wondering if the divorce is your fault. Mediation helps reduce the stress on your children. Instead of a protracted legal battle, mediation shows your children that you can still work together for everyone's best interests.
Not only do you set a positive example about mature conflict resolution for your children, you also shield them from messy court proceedings and the need to testify. Kids who go through a traumatic divorce are more likely to experience emotional issues and even physical health problems. Choosing mediation could help reduce the strain and damage a divorce causes for minor children.