Divorce by Mediation: Pros and Cons

Have you heard about divorce by mediation? It’s a less contentious way to dissolve a marriage and can work beautifully for couples who already agree on most major issues. Divorce by mediation might be right for you, but let’s be clear: it’s not for everyone.

When a divorcing couple chooses mediation, they agree not to use individual lawyers. Rather, they rely on a mediator to help reach decisions together — in a cooperative, rather than combative, manner. That means the couple should be in basic agreement concerning division of assets, who keeps the family home, child custody and conservatorship, who (if anyone) is at fault, and whether there will be support payments.

What are the pros of a divorce by mediation? The process can go much faster when all parties agree. Mediation can also be more cost-effective than combative attorneys on either side. Overall, divorce by mediation is less acrimonious and — dare we say — friendlier than more contentious options. There are many good reasons, especially if there are children involved, to avoid a long or antagonistic legal battle.

On the other hand, the biggest con can be the mindset that you “just want to get it over with.” The decisions and agreements you make during a divorce can affect your future, your children, and your finances for years to come. Divorce is an emotional time for some people, and you never want to be pressured into making any decision. If you start to feel taken advantage of, it might be time to consider leaving the mediation model and hiring your own attorney. Mediation is best for spouses who don’t wish to remain married but still trust and respect each other.

Once you and your spouse have decided on divorce by mediation, finding the right mediator is essential. They should be experienced in all aspects of family law, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, divorce, and child support and conservatorship. They should listen attentively and be highly impartial. This means they should not have worked with either spouse on any previous matters.

Jennifer Espronceda is an experienced family law attorney with expertise in divorce by mediation. Call 210-514-1415 for a consultation or use the available contact form.

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