If you are like many American couples facing divorce, you and your spouse may want to keep both expenses and emotional conflict to a minimum during the process. If you share children, you may also want to make sure you find a way to be supportive, loving co-parents going forward, regardless of your personal differences.
While not for everyone, divorce mediation is a type of uncontested divorce that may help you navigate a difficult time through constructive negotiation rather than legal combat.
How does divorce mediation work?
Mediation is a confidential process in which you and your spouse meet with a neutral family law mediator. Rather than decide issues for you, the mediator acts as a guide to your divorce. He or she may help you to pinpoint areas of conflict, suggest potential solutions and give you some perspective on what the law has to say on topics ranging from dividing assets to scheduling parenting time.
What are the potential benefits of mediation?
If you and your spouse can agree to work together to resolve issues, mediation benefits may include:
- Moving forward on your own schedule, rather than the court’s
- Maintaining a constructive focus on the future
- Shielding children from intense emotional conflict
- Saving on court and legal expenses
Perhaps most importantly, mediation allows you and your future ex to maintain control of your separation throughout the process.
Once you and your spouse have finished discussion sessions, your mediator may draft an agreement detailing your decisions. This agreement is nonbinding until you submit the document to the court and receive approval. However, the court is likely to approve as long as the terms are fair to you both and provide for the best interests of your children.