I often get phone calls from women who want to avoid an adversarial divorce and all the associated legal costs. We’ll discuss how mediation works and generally how much it costs. Their next step is to approach their spouse to encourage them to mediate their divorce. Knowing all the advantages of mediating your divorce can help convince your husband to go the mediation route.
Encourage Your Soon-To-Be-Ex To Mediate Your Divorce
Mediating your divorce is a whole lot less than the cost of a litigated divorce. For one, only one neutral party will be examining the financial documents, budgets, and so forth. The mediator can provide an estimate of their fee and their hourly rate. Your spouse can take that knowledge when looking for an attorney and then he/she will quickly see that mediating is by far a less expensive choice.
Mediation makes it much less likely that you will turn into adversaries. After all, when you file a complaint for divorce, suddenly you become “Jane Smith vs Joe Smith”. When you each hire attorneys, it can turn into a contest very quickly, and sometimes it can escalate and get out of your control. You have probably known people who ended up hating each other after their divorce and if you have children, this can put your children in between two warring parents. That can leave emotional scars for life.
Mediation offers an opportunity to end your marriage with grace and mutual respect. Raising children requires both emotional and financial cooperation. Mediating provides an opportunity to talk about co-parenting and consider each other’s needs in a neutral controlled environment. You make the decisions rather than attorneys or a judge.
Changing of perspectives
Each family is unique and mediating allows you to come up with solutions that better meet your needs. Attorneys are bound by a cannon to work in your legal best interests which may not be conducive to a compromise that better suits your situation. Judges will apply state guidelines that may not work for you, your spouse, or your children. Mediating allows you to go over financial data together and engage in discussions that can change your perspective and allow agreements to be made that are more equitable and work better for your situation.
Finally, mediating keeps things private. What goes on in court is on record and anyone can come into court and listen to your private matter. Mediation is confidential and statements made can’t be repeated in court and in a mediator can’t be called to court testify or hand over his or her notes.
Mediating does not stop you from getting legal advice. I encourage a consultation with a settlement minded attorney so everyone understands their legal rights. This actually HELPS mediation because each spouse understands their strengths and weaknesses and an attorney can clear up misconceptions about dividing assets or support.
My mission is to help people divorce with grace, divorce in an emotionally healthier manner and in a financially smart manner. Mediating with a Certified Divorce Financial Planner that will give you the financial guidance you need is the best move towards achieving all of those things!