Over 90% of court-based divorces settle before trial, but people use a lot of financial and emotional resources to get there. Why not work towards fair settlement from the start and move on with your life?
Divorce mediation is a well-established, voluntary and confidential process allowing couples going through a divorce or even post-divorce conflict to reach their own private resolution with the assistance of a trained, neutral person (the mediator).
A mediator facilitates meetings while encouraging constructive communications between you and your spouse/partner with the goal of reaching a lasting agreement. The final agreement and supporting paperwork gets filed with the Probate and Family Court. At a scheduled date, you and your spouse appear for a brief uncontested divorce hearing.
Mediation is almost always much less expensive than a traditional, court-based divorce, it is less adversarial and focused on problem-solving and the future. Litigation on the other hand, may create more problems.
Family Mediation & Divorce
Almost every couple should consider divorce mediation. It is NOT just for couples that agree on everything (if such couples even exist!). Mediation is likely not a good choice if there is a history of domestic violence, or if one person is scared of the other. Mediation can also be difficult if one (or both) parties have significant mental health or substance abuse issues that are not under reasonable control.
Massachusetts Divorce Mediation Benefits
1. Lower Stress, More Control
High-conflict divorce rips families apart and is damaging to children and spouses alike. Couples in mediation are much less likely to entangle children in painful conflict and report less stress during divorce.
2. More Bang for Your Buck
You may be initially attracted to mediation primarily as a way to save money over a traditional court-based divorce. It is true that mediation is usually much less expensive than litigation. One of the most obvious reasons for this is that a single mediator is retained instead of separate attorneys for each side. Even if you retain a lawyer to review the final negotiated agreement, there can still be substantial savings over a traditional divorce. Mediation is an efficient, streamlined process. There are no fees billed to the clients for travel time or for waiting at court.
3. You Control the Schedule and Pace
A court-based divorce can be very slow, especially if you actually make it to the trial stage. As cases linger, people tend to get more frustrated, and of course the longer your case goes on the more you’ll spend in hourly legal fees.
Mediation is private, takes place in your mediator’s office, or sometimes even on-line through the use of videoconferencing technology.
5. Respectful & Healthy
Mediation is more understanding of the human emotions present in every divorce case. Although mediation is not therapy, it does provide the parties a safe place to display feelings such as sadness, frustration, understanding, and empathy. Although divorce is a legal process, it is an emotional one as well.
7. Empowered Participants
Divorce mediation recognizes that many people are capable of resolving their own disputes, especially with some help from an expert. The mediator should provide information to help clients understand the applicable laws to divorce and family law, allowing the parties to make informed decisions.
8. More than One Way To Get There
A skilled mediator will help clients “expand the pie” or consider options not previously explored. A mediator may suggest alternatives for resolving issues that the participants failed to consider.
Court hearings, depositions, and other meetings are not scheduled around you and your family, but around the schedule of the court and lawyers. In mediation, we offer evening and weekend appointments for your benefit. (Please note that extra charges may apply for non-traditional meeting times). If your divorce mediator is also a lawyer, the same person can draft your final divorce agreement and related paperwork for submittal to the Probate and Family Court.
10. Fewer post-divorce flare-ups!
This is a big one that most clients forget to consider. The unfortunate fact is that for court-based divorces, whether they settle or not, clients may not embrace the outcome or at least parts of it. Remember, divorce is not about winning. When both sides are working together to come up with solutions, there is simply less post-divorce conflict.
Mediation is Not Just for Divorce
Mediation is used for issues other than divorce, including:
- Post-Divorce Conflicts and Modifications
- Prenuptial Agreements
- Child Custody / Parenting Issues
- Child Support
If you are looking for an experienced divorce mediator, contact us and we’ll schedule an informative meeting for you and your spouse. (508) 359-4043.
Divorce Mediation Services in the Norfolk, MA area.