Divorce is difficult. There are a lot of emotions, a lot of pain, and a lot of grief. Children can get caught up in this tumultuous period as their parents battle it out to determine custody, property division, child support, and other aspects of the dissolving marriage. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Divorce mediation is an alternative that allows both spouses to work together to find the best solutions for the family as they move forward with the divorce. All issues are resolved out of court and since the spouses control the ultimate outcome, mediation tends to be less stressful and more cost-effective.
Not every divorce is a good fit for mediation, however. These five signs are general indicators that divorce mediation is right for you:
- You want to avoid as much emotional fallout as possible.
People get hurt in divorce, and children can often be the casualties. This is, in large part, due to the animosity that may result from arguments over custody, property division, finances, and unfortunate mudslinging. Mediation seeks to minimize the emotional trauma of divorce by bringing both spouses together to settle matters in a way that is amiable.
Ideal candidates for divorce mediation seek to avoid hurting one another. They want to get through the divorce with as little emotional fallout as possible.
- You have similar goals regarding the divorce.
Both spouses have similar goals for the outcome of the divorce process. First and foremost, they want the divorce to be as amicable as possible, but also have common interests with regard to how property should be divided and how custody and parenting time should be handled. If both spouses can come to the table with at least some idea or a plan regarding parenting time, child support, finances, and other concerns, then divorce mediation could be a viable alternative to litigation.
- You are willing to cooperate while going through the process.
Cooperation is key to mediation. If both parties are willing to work together to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, then mediation could be the right decision for you. Working together instead of being oppositional takes a great deal of stress out of the divorce process. It is easier on all involved, especially the children. This is achieved by setting similar goals and working together to arrive at them.
- You want to share, not hide, information.
There are instances when spouses look to hide and withhold information from each other, refusing to disclose income, assets, children’s schedules, and other items. Doing so is likely to increase anger and mistrust, making the divorce process much more difficult than it needs to be. Where spouses are both willing to work together and share information freely, they will likely to remove much of the stress from the divorce process.
- You can find ways to deal with your emotions like anger, hurt feelings, and disappointment that don’t involve having your “day in court.”
When two spouses find themselves standing before a family law judge and begin the dissolution of their marriage, they often find it painful to have to discuss the break up of the marriage in public. Discussing these hurts in open court dredges up all the pain, all the anger, and all the frustration—and many people often feel like they’re reliving those painful times all over again.
Divorce mediation is more intimate. While hurtful things may still be discussed, it is done in a much more private and civil manner that can be cathartic. When spouses are able to find ways to manage emotional pain as alternatives to battling it out in court, they might find that healing can actually happen.
Divorce is not easy. Divorce mediation can make it easier, however, and, in some ways, less emotionally painful. Former spouses do not need to be best friends. Ideally, however, they are able to find a way to put negative emotions aside and work together for the benefit of their children and their own emotional experiences.