This is a common question often asked by spouses considering divorce. If you’re like most separated or divorcing spouses, you don’t want to spend a pile of money to hire lawyers and fight out your divorce in court.
You might therefore look to divorce mediation to save time, money, and headaches.
Before jumping right into divorce mediation, however, take stock of these 3 tips:
1. Lawyers can advise you before, during and after the mediation.
You should first consult with a competent family lawyer to determine if mediation is right for you and find out your legal rights and obligations.
You and your spouse can and should have attorneys to advise you during mediation so you can make informed decisions that impact your legal rights and obligations. The mediator cannot give legal advice to either you or your spouse. Only a lawyer can give you legal advice.
These decisions often involve those with respect to your child custody, parenting time with your children, alimony, and division of marital assets and debts.
After divorce mediation, your lawyer can suggest certain provisions to protect you and keep you out of court after the divorce.
2. Lawyers draft the legally binding agreement and file the legal documents necessary for the court to enter the judgment of divorce.
When you reach an agreement with your spouse, the divorce mediator draws up a document called a “Memorandum of Understanding.” It is not legally binding.
Therefore, you and/or your spouse would need a lawyer to draft the legally binding agreement called a “Marital Settlement Agreement.”
Your lawyer also files the legal documents with the court necessary to enter your divorce.
3. Divorce mediation isn’t right for everyone.
Not every divorce is a good fit for mediation.
Divorce mediation works best for spouses who both want to preserve an amicable relationship between them for the sake of their children; have the ability to respectfully communicate with one another; and are both relatively familiar with the incomes, assets, and debts of the marriage.
To find out more about whether mediation is right for you, read my blog here.
For a complete evaluation of all of your options and to help you determine if mediation is right for you, please call or click here to schedule a personalized consultation