Have you heard about divorce 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 mediation might be right for you, but let’s be clear; it’s not for everyone.
When a divorcing couple chooses mediation, they generally each have individual lawyers. The lawyers then work with a mediator to help the couple them reach decisions together – in a cooperative, rather than combative, manner. That means the couple should be in basic agreement concerning the 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.
The Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation
To determine if divorce mediation might be right for you, it’s important to understand that there are pros and cons to this route. You must be honest about your situation and goals, and then weigh them against the pros and cons of the process.
Pros of Divorce Mediation
- Faster process
- Relaxed and impartial, and
- More control over the outcome
Cons of Divorce Mediation
- Parties usually share the cost
- No legal advice is given
- Possibility of a power struggle
- No guaranteed outcome
The Mediation Process
Unlike divorce through litigation, mediation is much more flexible. Each mediator will have their own method and style, but the basic process is almost always the same.
Negotiating the Agreement
Like any negotiation, divorce mediation should be a back-and-forth.
A good mediator will start with the simple items first. Knocking a few things off the list right away, especially items that you can agree on easily, is a mood-booster and trust-builder and can set the tone for the rest of the process.
As you begin negotiating the more complex or contentious items, it will be important not to rush. Sometimes an item must be put on the back-burner for a moment until you can both gather more information, or take a break from the subject to let your emotions cool down.
Most importantly, you must be a good listener and keep an open mind. Remember, mediation is supposed to be about compromise, not win or lose. Hear your spouses concerns and ideas. Rather than trying to get what you want, try to focus on solutions that benefit both of you.
Finding the Right Mediator
Finding the right mediator should also be cooperative. The mediator should have experience mediating family law cases and be well established within the legal community for dispute resolution.
Other issues to consider when looking for a mediator:
- Experience with all aspects of family law
- Impeccable listening skills, and
- A track record of successful divorce mediations
How Espronceda Law Can Help
If you’re in the San Antonio area and would like to explore the possibility of divorce mediation, Jennifer Espronceda has over nine years’ experience providing her clients cost-effective and peaceful solutions to their family law cases through mediation.
Call us today for a free consultation.