Divorce, while common, is uncharted territory until you go through it yourself. You may have some vague notions about divorce proceedings and how mediation fits in. But before you make a decision between mediation, litigation, or a DIY divorce, be sure that your ideas about mediation aren’t misconceptions or myths.
To help you better understand the goals and methods of divorce mediation, here are the top 6 myths, debunked:
“I need the mediator on my side.”
When many people divorce, they want to work with someone who will represent their best interests and those alone. During the divorce mediation process, however, you represent yourself and your spouse does the same. Because of this, the divorce mediator serves as a neutral party to help facilitate discussions—essentially, helping you help yourselves.
Your divorce mediator works to help you find a solution you can both live with, rather than being concerned with whom is right or wrong. This can lead to a more amicable agreement and future, rather than grudges and anger.
“I’ll have to settle for less with divorce mediation.”
Because no one technically wins with divorce mediation, that means no one loses. You and your spouse will both be working toward a mutually agreeable solution, so you may actually have a better chance of getting the settlement you want instead of an “all or nothing” deal. Plus, divorce mediation can be exponentially cheaper than a divorce through litigation, which means you’ll save money during the entire process.
“The courtroom is the best way to resolve child custody disputes.”
A divorce that ends up in court can be emotionally damaging for both spouses as their words and actions are twisted by attorneys in order to win the desired settlement. Just imagine how it would feel for your children. Do you really want to leave your children’s futures in the hands of a judge? How would your children feel having to suffer through a long, drawn-out trial? Through divorce mediation, you and your spouse can put your differences aside to resolve your child custody matters. By working together with your children’s best interests in mind, your children will be much better off.
“I’ll be getting legal advice from a mediator, so I don’t need a lawyer.”
Because mediators are neutral parties in the divorce process, they can only provide legal information—not advice. Before signing any final settlement papers or if you have any specific questions during the process, you may want to consult with your own counsel on the side. While it may seem like you’re doubling up on the fee, mediation is still remarkably less expensive than a litigated divorce because it is likely that you’ll only need a few hours of your attorney’s time.
“Our divorce is too complicated for mediation.”
While every divorce is different, a good, experienced mediator will likely have seen it all. They will have experience in property disputes, family businesses, child custody agreements, alimony, and other complex issues. They also will know when it’s valuable to call in additional help, such as a tax expert or financial planner.
“We’ll have to resolve all of our issues in divorce mediation.”
Divorce mediation is entirely what you make of it. If you want to resolve everything, you have the means to do so. However, if it feels simply impossible to resolve everything, you can pick up where mediation left off and continue your dispute in court.
A Better Divorce Through Divorce Mediation
A divorce without destruction is entirely possible through divorce mediation services. With divorce mediation, you’ll both be able to retain control over the entire process and the final resolution. This way, you’ll effectively be able to limit the amount of damage to yourselves and your children.
Learn how South Bay Mediation can help you dissolve your marriage in a better way. Schedule a consultation today.