Divorce can create a challenging time for you and your family. The decision to divorce is not an easy one, and you have likely been contemplating it for some time. Once you decide to divorce, you and your spouse need to work together to make some important decisions regarding your finances and your children. Emotions may be running high and even what starts as an amicable divorce can turn contentious in a minute. One option to assist you through the process is mediation. An experienced divorce attorney will help guide you and get you through divorce with as little stress as possible.
What is Divorce Mediation?
When you and your spouse want to eliminate disputes and resolve disagreements as you divorce, you may want to consider an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) option. Divorce mediation is a method of resolving disagreements between couples with the help of a mediator. A mediator is a trained professional who is an objective third party. The mediator is a person who meets with both parties to facilitate a discussion and compromise regarding matters of divorce. Some of these issues may include assets, debts, marital property, child custody, visitation, and spousal maintenance, among others.
How Does Mediation Work?
When you choose mediation, both parties will agree to meet with the mediator to work through the matters that are in dispute. The goal of mediation is to come to a mutual agreement with your spouse regarding the matters that could make your divorce more difficult or contentious. You may need several meetings with the mediator in order to reach agreements that are necessary in your situation. Every case is different, but you will likely resolve the matters more easily with the help of a mediator.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
There are several benefits of using divorce mediation. One of the most important benefits of mediation is that you will be able to tackle some of the difficult decisions in less time than you would otherwise. This means that you could reduce the time that it takes to obtain your divorce, which will make the costs lower. Mediation helps couples talk about their divorce settlement issues in an environment that is safe and secure. You will be able to express your wishes as well as your concerns in a way that allows both parties to hear each other.
Mediation can improve your overall communication with your spouse during this difficult time. While it is not a substitute for counseling, it is a more formal setting with a mediator who guides the process. Using a mediator will help you reduce divorce stress and help you discuss the issues that are important to you. Mediation will eliminate the need for more complicated legal proceedings, which can sometimes cause hard feelings between parties. Mediation facilitates a more balanced and rational divorce discussion.
Is Divorce Mediation Mandatory?
Divorce mediation is not a requirement in Washington state. However, if your divorce is becoming difficult, the judge may request that you and your spouse participate in mediation. Mediation is an option that can make divorce easier for both people. You cannot force your spouse to take part in mediation, but you can strongly suggest it. Your divorce attorney may also recommend mediation, especially in complex divorces or in cases where there are disagreements. You may want to begin your divorce by seeking assistance from a qualified mediator.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Mediation
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you consider mediation is to enter into it with an open mind. Try to forget about any problems that occurred in the past with your partner and instead concentrate on how to make decisions that impact your family. Keep in mind that you will both need to compromise if you want to resolve matters. Remember that the mediator is not a referee and is not there to make decisions for you. Rather, the mediator will guide the process and ensure that both parties are able to present their ideas and concerns.
When you begin the divorce process, the first step is to choose a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Your lawyer will meet with you to discuss the overall process and will answer your questions. If you and your attorney think it is beneficial, you might want to consider mediation sooner rather than later. When you opt for mediation at the start of the process, it can greatly reduce the length of time it would otherwise take to resolve difficult disputes. It can also make the process less stressful, and it can actually help to keep your relationship with your spouse more amicable.
How to Make the Most of Mediation
Mediation can help you and your spouse communicate better. You will get the best results if you concentrate on listening to the other person. Stay open to compromise, and do not just say no to an idea before you have a chance to give it some more thought. Try to keep a positive attitude and remember that your spouse has ideas that need to be heard. At the same time, you need to be able to express your needs and wants during this critical period. Approach mediation as a tool that you can utilize to make the process easier. Most of all, realize that you will have to compromise in order to come to a fair resolution.
Mediation Can Facilitate a Healthy Divorce
Mediation can help you and your spouse work through challenging issues that could otherwise cause a lot of strife and resentment. When you use mediation properly, you will actually facilitate a healthy divorce. You and your spouse and children will adapt better to life after divorce when parents are able to get along through the process. While divorce is never easy, it does not have to be horrible. If you are considering divorce or have made the decision to end your marriage, you will benefit from the guidance of our knowledgeable divorce attorneys. Our team of skilled lawyers is here to assist you through the process. To learn more about divorce and to set up a consultation, contact us today at View Ridge Family Law & Estate Planning at (206) 210-1562.