Divorce is usually an ugly battle, but it does not have to be such an unpleasant and destructive event. If you and your spouse are willing, you can end your marriage in a more constructive and satisfying way. This is possible through mediation, which uses a neutral divorce mediatorto help you create a solution that works for everyone in a civil and productive manner.
Mediation versus litigation
Many divorce cases involve litigation, in which you and your spouse each hire a lawyer and contend in court over the details of your divorce. It requires significant time and effort that can quickly exhaust you emotionally and financially. This route may be necessary, but when it is not, you are only inviting more stress, fees and resentful feelings into your life.
Mediation, however, is a more cooperative approach. You sit down with a third party who is not on any side and work toward a plan that covers areas from property division to co-parenting. The mediator has no legal authority in your case, even if he or she is also an attorney. Even with a mediator, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. Many people retain individual lawyers to help with the legal aspects of divorce, including drafting and reviewing the final marital dissolution agreement, to ensure their rights are protected. Even when people do hire lawyers, their costs are almost always substantially less than if they battled each other in court.
The benefits of mediation
Mediation is appealing because it comes with many benefits. It normally leads to a quicker and cheaper divorce. It encourages respect and collaboration and teaches you to communicate and listen effectively. The process decreases conflict, emotional turmoil and resulting health problems. It gives you and your spouse, instead of a judge, control over the outcome of your divorce.
It also positively affects your children as they see their parents model maturity and consideration despite differences in opinion and even dislike for one another, and lets your children know that their well-being is more important than any need for revenge or contention you or your spouse may have. Furthermore, it leads to a higher chance of joint custody so that your children can maintain a relationship with both parents.
Are you still wondering if mediation is right for you? Consider consulting with a Texas divorce mediator about the process and any concerns you have. Skilled mediators are often able to come up with ways to execute a successful mediation even under challenging circumstances.