What is Mediation?
February 21, 2018
One of the more frequent questions I get asked is “What is mediation?”. Even my iPhone seems to not recognize the word “mediation.” It always autocorrects to “meditation.” While meditation is great, and I highly recommend it if you are divorcing, mediation is definitely an option you should explore if you are considering divorce.
So, what is mediation? Mediation is an opportunity for a divorcing couple to meet with a third party, the mediator, to discuss and resolve issues related to their divorce. These issues can range from kids to property division and everything in between. The mediator works with you to determine what issues you want to resolve. Next, the mediator will guide a structured conversation between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse on the agreed upon topics. If you and your spouse come to an agreement, even if it is only on one of the issues discussed, the mediator will write the agreement immediately. No waiting. Plus, you can review it and use your own language and terms to truly personalize this agreement.
Now that we’ve gone through what mediation is, here’s why it’s a great alternative to fighting it out in court.
- It’s a flexible process.
Divorce sucks. There’s no way of getting around it. But, you can help make the process suck a little less. The more flexibility you have, the better off you will be. Mediation is not a one size fits all process. At all. It truly is tailored to you and your unique circumstances.
Several years before I went to law school, I went through a divorce. We did not go through mediation. As a result, we got a canned, one size fits all parenting agreement. My ex-husband was active duty in the military. It did not take into account the nuances of military life as well as other specific factors of our lives or our preferences.
Mediation provides you with the time and space to thoroughly discuss these issues and have the details reflected in the agreement. You might not have this opportunity in court, because you are on the court’s time. Courts are busy, and there are a lot of cases on the docket. Don’t take the chance of not being heard.
- It’s a confidential process.
Court hearings are a public process. Everything is on the record. Everything is PUBLIC. On the other hand, mediation is like Las Vegas. What happens in mediation, stays in mediation. It is a completely confidential process. If you have a particularly sensitive issue that needs to be discussed, or you simply value your privacy, mediation is a great option to consider during the divorce process.
- You and your ex-spouse will be happier.
Would you rather have the government make personal, sensitive decisions about the most important aspects of your life, or would you rather make those decisions yourself? Don’t give your power away to a complete stranger who doesn’t have a horse in the race. When you are involved in making decisions about your life, your kids, your property, you are going to be much happier with the outcome. This lessens the chance of conflict in the future as well as meeting your ex-spouse in court again down the road. Save yourself the time, the headache, and the money. Choose mediation instead.
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