when divorce mediation is the right choice

When Divorce Mediation is the #1 Best Option

For many couples, working with your spouse and a divorce mediator might be an ideal solution for a difficult decision and reduce potential conflicts in a divorce mediation.

But, mediation will only work if you or your spouse are working towards the same goal. You’re more likely to have a successful divorce mediation if all or most of the following statements are true.

Mediation is a Good Option When You and Your Spouse Agree to Divorce

In many cases, the option to divorce is mutual. In the event you or your spouse agree that divorce is your next step, you can file a petition for divorce together or, one spouse could register with the other’s knowledge.

When you’re on the same page, it’s often easier to negotiate and work together to obtain resolutions for any unresolved divorce issues in mediation.

when divorce mediation is the right choice

No History of Domestic Violence

With divorce mediation comes the need for regular meetings between both spouse, your mediator and attorneys.

If you or your partner have a history of domestic abuse, many mediators, including myself, won’t take your case because it’s difficult for the mediator to determine whether the victim agrees to the settlement because they truly agree or it is a decision based on fear or intimidation from the abuser.

Both Spouses Are Forthcoming About Finances

Probably the most complicated part of any divorce would be financial. Both spouses must be willing to provide the other (and the mediator) with very sensitive information, such as documentation about bank accounts, retirement, pensions, stocks, and all other assets and debts.

In most marriages, it is common for one spouse to be more familiar with the family assets and obligations than the other. If you don’t have all relevant financial information, you’ll have to investigate and divulge your marital property before you agree to a proposed property settlement.

You Agree on Child Custody/Conservatorship Terms

Next to finances, child custody and visitation is usually the most challenging area of divorce. Most parents can set aside differences for their children’s well being, but sometimes even the best intentions are met with difficulties.

Divorce mediation is a great way to establish the “new normal” and make decisions on how to work together in co-parenting. Deciding who will care for the children on a day-to-day basis, accountability for financial child support, health care, school districts and the type and frequency of visitation with the noncustodial parent.

There’s no question that parents know what’s best for their children: the best method to make sure your divorce decree protects your children’s best interest would be to negotiate the terms for custody (conservatorship) with your spouse.

When obstacles are met, your mediator will offer advice and potential solutions on how to find agreement with your spouse. Working through this process in a confidential setting is one of the big benefits of divorce mediation.

In the event you or your spouse disagree on custody, particularly if there are allegations of abuse or negligence, you’ll need legal support and court intervention. The court will attempt to determine what structure is in your children’s best interest by using your state’s process before the judge makes a final decision.

In Addition, if you and your spouse find yourselves able to agree on all points, you could look into filing your own, uncontested divorce. This option is available in most states. Here’s a link to the best service we have found:

[lasso ref=”online-divorce-service” id=”47780″ link_id=”2806″]

So, your options are different depending on the level of conflict you are going through:

High Conflict: Highly advise seeking legal representation/counsel and may need to go to court.

Medium Conflict: You agree on most things but a Mediator may be of great assistance to facilitate agreement on certain issues. (Legal counsel is always recommended but you may not need a long retainer/lifecycle with an attorney if he/she were taking the divorce to court.)

Low Conflict: You and your spouse have found agreement on all the details but you need guidance to file all the proper divorce petitions and forms in compliance with your state’s laws and regulations.

Hope you have found this helpful as you navigate your current situation. Please feel free to reach out if we can help you. Please remember, none of these options is a substitution for receiving legal counsel. It only may affect how much you may need.

Laura Dawn

Laura Dawn Ouin is the founder of Third Coast Mediation & Consulting in Dallas, Texas, and is passionate about conflict resolution, communication and education. On a personal note, coffee AND tea lover, morning person, travel bug and dog whisperer.

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