How Can We Avoid Taking Our Divorce to Court?
Sometimes, a couple reaches a point where they both agree that divorce is the best path forward – but they don’t want to end up trapped in a long, contentious court battle. That’s entirely understandable. Long, drawn-out court battles can result in additional stress, time, and expense that’s simply undesirable, and in many cases, unnecessary during an already difficult time. Many people ask – how can we avoid taking our divorce to court? For many couples, mediation is the answer.
What is mediation? Mediation is a method used to resolve disputes in which both parties involved in a dispute agree to meet with a neutral, third-party mediator who helps them to work toward the resolution of their issues cooperatively and communicatively. Often, the mediator will be another attorney who is a certified family and divorce mediator, a trained professional counselor, or in some cases even a retired judge.
During the mediation, the mediator will work with both spouses toward resolving the issues between them, from child custody and child support to property division, alimony, and anything else that may be in dispute. The parties will typically meet in a location of their choosing, and both parties can bring their attorneys if they choose to do so. The discussion is typically informal, and there is a good deal of back and forth discussion between the parties as they work toward finding solutions for their issues. The end goal of the process is to create an agreement that addresses the matters at issue and sets forth the decisions that work best for the family as they move forward to their next new chapter.
Mediation has many potential advantages when compared to traditional litigation. It is often less expensive, far less time-consuming, and offers the parties more privacy than they would have if they publicly battled their issues out in a courtroom. Perhaps most importantly, choosing mediation provides couples with the freedom and flexibility to decide their issues in a way that works best for their family. When you allow a court to decide your issues for you, that flexibility is lost, and in many cases, you’re left with a resolution that may be less than satisfactory to either party. Mediation allows couples to make their own choices – and ultimately, to often be more satisfied with the outcome of their case.
The articles in this section are here to help you take a closer look at what’s involved in a mediation, the advantages and disadvantages of mediation, what to expect as you contemplate mediation, and what other options you may have if mediation ultimately isn’t the best fit for you. We encourage you to look through these articles as helpful resources, but as with any legal matter, including mediation, there is no substitute for having the advice and assistance of a knowledgeable and experienced divorce attorney to help you through the process. At The Law Office of Dustin McCrary, we’re here for you.