Is negotiating a divorce the best option?
For most people going through a divorce, it is one of the most challenging times of their lives. The prospect of dividing marital assets, figuring out child custody plans and addressing all the other disputes that arise can be daunting. Georgia residents may wonder if there’s a way to end a marriage without having to go through a lengthy and potentially costly dispute.
Fortunately, many couples have the option to mediate their divorces. According to the Chicago times, mediation is popular because it can cost less than a litigated divorce, and it tends to spare children much of the conflict of a traditional divorce. However, there are times when mediation may not be the best option for all involved. It’s important to understand the setbacks to this type of divorce as well as its advantages before making a decision.
The mediation process
During a mediated divorce, a neutral third party will sit with the couple to resolve disputes. This third party can be an attorney with mediation experience or a certified mediator. Many attorneys become certified mediators to better serve their clients. In order for mediation to work best, the following situations are ideal:
- Each spouse is able to discuss matters calmly without letting their emotions get in the way.
- Both parties are able to keep an open mind and consider options that are fair to the other spouse, such as sharing parental rights.
- Each spouse is willing to cooperate during mediation sessions and avoid escalating discussions into arguments.
When both parties are able to treat each other with respect, some mediated divorces can be concluded smoothly in only one session.
When mediation may not be the best choice
Some factors may make mediation a less ideal choice, states Family Education. For example, if one or both spouses are unable to respectfully discuss matters without conflict, litigation may be a better option. This is also the case if domestic violence or substance abuse were present during the marriage. Spouses who are intimidated by their partners or are at a financial or emotional disadvantage may be better served by litigation. One spouse may not want the divorce, which can complicate mediation. Also, finances and assets are important matters to discuss during a divorce. If one spouse does not know the full value of the marital assets, it may be best to involve a judge.
The choices that Georgia residents have to make leading up to a divorce might seem overwhelming, but an experienced family law attorney can help couples determine the best solution for their individual circumstances.