The climate of divorce is constantly changing. About ten years ago, when people were thinking about getting a divorce, they would call an attorney and “lawyer up” right away. Now that couples are becoming more educated about their options, they are seeking alternative ways to divorce. Divorce mediation is now not only an alternative, it is becoming the norm in many cases. There is also a lot of research online about divorce mediation and its pros and cons. Sometimes, in the face of so much information, it is difficult to tell whether divorce mediation is right for you or not. Thinking about divorce mediation? Here are some signs that divorce mediation will be a good fit for you and your spouse.
1. You are still able to communicate:
There are some divorce cases that start out very contentious. Maybe infidelity or domestic violence have caused the conversations to escalate to an unhealthy level. In these cases, it may be better to consult with a divorce attorney first to determine if you are a candidate for divorce mediation. In cases of domestic violence, if there is a restraining order in place, mediation is not usually advisable unless the couple agrees to have the judge grant an exception to the restraining order. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are still able to communicate, mediation may be right for you. For example, if you have children, are you and your spouse still able to communicate about who is picking them up from school, etc. Are you still managing your household finances together? Are you, by any chance, still friends? If so, divorce mediation may be right for you.
Divorce mediation is all about effective and respectful communication. The divorce mediator will work with you and your spouse to understand your needs and goals for the divorce mediation process. In addition, your divorce mediator will set guidelines and boundaries to ensure that the communication is productive, rather than hurtful to one or both spouses.
2. You see eye to eye:
Of course, if you and your spouse are seeking a divorce in the first place, it is possible that you don’t see eye to eye on a lot of issues. However, you may agree on how you will parent your children after the divorce is final, or how your finances should be handled. If you do, divorce mediation could be right for you. However, you don’t have to agree on everything! There is an interesting misconception about mediation that is held by lawyers and couples alike. It is that the couple has to agree on everything or divorce mediation won’t work. This is not the case. In fact, your divorce mediator’s job is to help you and your spouse come to an agreement by illustrating possible solutions and compromises. So many of our clients at Alternative Divorce Solutions come in on opposite sides of the spectrum on some issues. They leave having resolved those issues because their divorce mediator has shown them a different way to look at the situation. All that is needed for divorce mediation to work is the couple’s common goal of settlement.
3. You want to make your own choices:
In divorce mediation, you will be given the information you need to make educated decisions about parenting, property division, support, and child custody. In litigation, on the other hand, a judge will be making all of these decisions for you. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we believe that the couple is in the best place to make decisions about their property and family.
4. You want to save money:
Divorce is expensive. There is really no way around it. Divorce mediation, however, is typically less than half of the cost of a litigated divorce. Instead of hiring separate attorneys (that charge an average retainer of $5,000 in Orange County), the parties will hire one neutral divorce mediator. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we charge a one-time flat fee, which is all inclusive of paperwork, communication, and divorce mediation appointments. You will know exactly what you will be spending up front and you will save on attorney’s fees.
5. You want to save time:
In addition to being expensive, divorce can be a lengthy process. In litigation, you may wait months to get a court date and you will need several court appearances to resolve all of the issues in your case. In divorce mediation, depending on how complicated your case is, you will be done with the process in a matter of weeks. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we ensure that the divorce is completed on your timeline. You won’t have unnecessary time away from work or your family to complete your case, as we are very flexible with our scheduling.
At Alternative Divorce Solutions, we give our clients the opportunity to see if divorce mediation is a good fit for them. We offer a free one hour consultation to explain the divorce mediation process and answer any questions the couple may have.