When couples go through a divorce, they often seek alternative methods that exist outside of a courtroom. While it may not be possible for all couples, it can be beneficial for some to reach an amicable agreement about their marital issues without the assistance of a judge. One of the different types of divorce options available to couples is the method of mediation. Mediation allows a couple to negotiate the terms of their divorce with the assistance of an unbiased third party instead of a judge. Conversations in mediation may consist of child custody, child support, the division of assets, and alimony.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is useful when a couple is able to come together on their own accord to reach a decision regarding their marital issues. The process allows couples to come together and resolve any unaddressed marital issues and agree to certain terms. This allows spouses to resolve family issues and come to an agreement on how to end their relationship properly. A neutral third party resides in all divorce mediation cases to listen to both sides of each spouse and help them reach decisions that are best for them and their family. This helps spouses avoid certain turmoil and unnecessary expenses of divorcing through trial.
Benefits of Mediation
There are several benefits to choosing divorce through mediation instead of through a trial. When a couple decides to use mediation, they can walk away from the situation feeling better about the decision they reached with their prior spouse. Benefits of this method may include:
- Control over the situation: Mediation allows spouses to maintain control over the outcome of their marital issues. When a divorce happens through trial, a judge is given the right to make decisions. Mediation leaves these decisions in the hands of the couple, who know best how the outcome will affect their family.
- Confidentiality: The process of mediation is strictly confidential. Neither spouse nor the third party is allowed to share any information in mediation or use it against one another. This lets both spouses be open and honest with one another during the entire process.
- Speed: Mediation is typically a quicker process than other methods of divorce. Depending on the couple, the process may last only a few sessions. This is usually dependent upon how many unresolved issues there are to address.
- Cost: Unlike divorcing through a trial, mediation is cost-effective. Divorce through litigation is often expensive not only for the couple but for the state as well.
- Choice: Mediation is done only by the choice of the spouses in question. It is a voluntary process in which spouses can engage in negotiations to reach a positive conclusion.
- Family: When a couple chooses the route of mediation over divorce through litigation, it often benefits the family involved. Divorce trials are often difficult and hostile situations, while mediation allows for a more healthy conversation. This is especially beneficial for parents with children.
How Does the Process End?
When a couple successfully reached agreements regarding their marital issues, the mediator will draft a Memorandum of Understanding. This outlines the conclusions that were met. Both spouses will take the Memorandum to their attorneys who will then create a Matrimonial Settlement Agreement. When this is signed, both spouses can go to court as an uncontested case and finalize their divorce.
Contact our Firm
If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and wishes to speak with legal representation, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. today.
If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.