The majority of people do not want to go through a messy divorce. Fortunately, there is an alternative that lets couples avoid court litigation.
Mediation is a method that allows the spouses to come to a divorce agreement together, with the help of a neutral third party. This not only avoids a pricey courtroom battle, but it also helps keep emotional stress to a minimum.
Good candidates for divorce mediation
According to FindLaw, there are many couples that are good candidates for mediation when going through the divorce process. Mediation is a popular choice for parents of young children because they understand that maintaining a healthy relationship and united front is important. Mediation is also a good choice for couples who are able to communicate and work together to come up with a compatible agreement.
It is important to understand that not everyone is a good candidate for the mediation process. It is not good if neither spouse is willing to communicate or negotiate or if one of the spouses is afraid to ask for what he or she wants. It is also not a good option if there is violence in the relationship.
How mediation works
According to Money Crashers, the first step is to choose a mediator. Not all have the same qualifications, so research their education and experience working with divorcing couples. Once chosen, this neutral third party will schedule a series of sessions. During these meetings, the mediator will help guide conversations and decision-making regarding asset and debt division, living situations, child custody and other important topics.
Although a mediator cannot make decisions for the spouses if they are having difficulty agreeing, he or she does have the skills to come up with unique solutions. Each spouse should prepare for the session by gathering all relevant documents and information, such as credit card statements, retirement accounts, mortgage papers etc. Once the couple reaches an agreement, they each sign the settlement, which is a contract stating the terms of the agreement.