8 Things You Need to Know About Divorce Mediation
Are you thinking about divorce mediation as a way of sorting out the stressful mess that has become your divorce? That's a good idea. Stats Can (Statistics Canada) shows that 1/3 of all written agreements between the parties are drafted by lawyers; saving clients large sums of money and huge amounts of stress.
Divorce mediation focuses on a cooperative method that involves bringing in a third party to mediate negotiations.
This can be the best way to proceed for the following reasons.
1. It's Actually Less Expensive
Divorce mediation can save you the legal costs associated with a long and dragged out divorce process.
Committing to it early on in the process can save you a lot of money over the long-run. Particularly if you and your ex are currently on contentious terms and you feel like they're going to fight you on every single detail, or vice versa.
2. It Can Help You Get a Better Settlement
Choosing mediation can actually get a better settlement when it comes to:
- Spousal support
- Child support
- Child custody
You're committed and working towards a good outcome for everyone. This means you're less likely to get worn down and give in over the grind of a long and drawn out divorce process.
Too many people just "cave" in the late stages of a divorce, simply because they have run out of money to keep fighting, or they simply just want to put it all behind them.
You can avoid this with divorce mediation.
3. It Can Keep You Out of the Courtroom
The entire point of divorce mediation is to keep you out of divorce court.
Divorce court should always be your absolute last resort. It's expensive, it's hostile, and you're putting your fate 100% in the hands of a judge. Once their decision is final, it is very final.
Mediation is more affordable and ensures you have a say in your future at every single phase of negotiation.
4. It Takes the Hostility Out of Things
Trust us when we say we've seen couples who couldn't have been further apart come together during the mediation process.
Infidelity, lies, and resentment during the marriage can put both parties in an adversarial mode during most divorces. Bringing in a third party can help defuse the built-up emotions and keep you focused on the future.
5. It's Less Stressful
The most stressful part of divorce can be the unknown. Not knowing what tomorrow will bring. Who will the kids live with? Can I keep the house? How will the family business be split?
The stress comes from not knowing the answers to these questions and feeling like the outcome is completely out of your hands.
Mediation keeps you involved and helps you feel like you have a say in your future.
6. It's Better for the Kids
You are also probably stressing about the short and long-term effect that this divorce will have on the children involved.
You may have heard scary statistics like children of a divorce are 50% more likely to develop health problems than two-parent families. But it doesn't have to be that traumatic.
There's no doubt that this experience can be disruptive and long-lasting. But the impact that it has on the kids is largely up to you.
It may not always feel like it, but you are your child's #1 role model. You're the one who shows them how an adult should behave. And a lot of what they think adults should do to resolve conflicts will come from this experience.
So if mom or dad are yelling into their cell phone or constantly arguing in a heated way, they will see that as the norm.
But, if they can see their parents coming together, despite the obvious difficulty, and working together as a team towards a common goal, they will find it easy to mirror that behavior later in life.
7. It Helps You Move on
You don't want a long process. Even if you initially feel like you want the other party to suffer, you actually don't want that. You would rather just move onto the next phase of your life as peacefully as possible, with a feeling of closure.
Of course, you want to be set up to do so. You will want the best possible settlement to make sure you're financially where you need to be. And, you need to know that your future with your kids is assured of a good custody settlement.
Divorce mediation can help you achieve all of those things, which helps you truly start to put the past behind you and build a new and better life.
It can't help you take back the years of your life where you were unhappy. It can, however, set you up to pursue the happiness you deserve in the next chapter of your life.
8. If You're Anticipating a War, You Should Start With Divorce Mediation
The more difficult you imagine thins being between you and your ex, the more reason to start talking about mediation right now.
Don't waste time or money with heated exchanges and unproductive conversations. Take the emotion and stress out of things right in the early stages, so you can arrive in a better place as soon as possible.
You may have a steadfast idea in your head right now that you and your ex hate each other, will never be able to work together, and both sides ending up in divorce court is all but inevitable.
Again, it doesn't have to be that way, mediation exists because people enter into a divorce with this mentality, and it works because it facilitates the process of working together.
Even the most resentful and hostile couples have become mediation success stories, despite their hesitation going into the process.
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