While lawyers and judges are the ultimate legal experts, of course, I believe that every citizen should take the time to learn a little about law for several reasons. First, it is important to know your rights, and knowing them can come in handy if anyone ever accuses you of a crime you didn't commit or threatens you legally in another other way. Second, learning about your local, state, and federal laws can help you act as a better citizen. When election time comes around, you can then truly understand ever change in law being proposed by a candidate and whether it benefits society or not. I plan to share posts about law topics explained in plain English on my new blog, so you can come back often to sharpen your legal knowledge!
When it comes to settling a divorce, the legal process can be lengthy and emotional. If your divorce attorney suggests the possibility of mediation, you may wonder if it's right for you. Mediation is a process in which you and your spouse will meet with an independent third party to negotiate the divorce and talk through your final settlement agreement. In most cases, an agreement obtained through mediation is approved through the court system without the necessity for an official hearing in the courtroom. Here are several reasons you should consider mediation for your divorce.
Mediation may allow you to resolve your divorce much faster than if you had to go through the repeated court hearings and negotiations. Depending on the case load in the courts and the complexities of your divorce, you could see a marked difference in the resolution time by opting for mediation.
By eliminating the time spent in court, you're also going to eliminate the time you'd have to spend in your lawyer's office dealing with preparation for testimony and court presentations. This may allow you more time to work through the personal complexities of your separation and divorce. You can sit face to face with your spouse and settle everything, then return to your routine. If you have kids, this time saved could be valuable time helping them adjust.
Choosing mediation limits the audience for your negotiations to just the mediation room. This can be beneficial, as it means you aren't having to air your grievances in an open court. If either party in a divorce is particularly hurt, mediation can keep some potentially irreparable accusations being raised in an open court.
Another benefit to mediation is that your financial records don't become public record. The financial affidavits that you have to file as part of a court-settled divorce become part of the public records after the case is closed. This isn't an issue with mediation, because you won't have to file these documents.
Personalizing Your Settlement
Most courts take a standard approach to divorce settlements, following a prescribed method for determining the asset distribution, support payments and even alimony. If you want to be able to customize your divorce settlement to fit what you and your spouse need, mediation may provide you with that flexibility.
In fact, it may even give you the ability to finalize the settlement without the option to reopen the case for adjustment, which can be helpful if you're concerned that your spouse may want to seek more money later. This flexible approach and ability to finalize the process may give you more peace of mind and allow you to move on easier than you could if you have to drag things out in court.
Reducing Your Costs
The cost of mediation is typically much lower than what you would pay if you have to take the case to trial. In most cases, the court costs and attorney fees are much higher since cases that go to trial take longer and require more research, evidence analysis and other work. With mediation, you'll pay the filing fees and the mediator cost, but there's fewer court fees and less billable time from your attorney. If you're on a strict budget, this may be an ideal avenue.
Mediation isn't right for every divorce, but it can be beneficial in many cases. If you're facing a straightforward divorce with little argument, mediation can be an ideal choice. If, on the other hand, your spouse is not willing to negotiate or communication is strained at best, you might want to talk with your attorney at a site like http://www.madisonlf.com about the potential for taking it to court.