When many people think about divorce, they think about months or years in court, endless arguments, and the high cost of litigation should a case go to trial. What many don’t realize, however, is that there is a better alternative: Mediation.
This option is great for couples who disagree over a few issues but don’t want to spend a significant amount of time or money litigating (i.e. going to Court for) a solution.
If you’ve never heard of mediation or simply want to find out more, we’ll provide all the information you should know below to determine whether it’s a good option for your case. It’s important to create a checklist so you make sure you don’t overlook any important elements of this process.
So, What is Mediation?
Put simply, it is a process that allows you to negotiate a settlement. You and your spouse will meet with a neutral, third party called a mediator to discuss the issues you disagree upon. This third party is an attorney and is different from the attorney you use to represent your interests in court.
Your mediator will facilitate the discussion between you and your spouse to work out the issues preventing you from settling your case. Typically, you will attend multiple sessions to do so. If you disagree about issues in the future, you may be sent back to your mediator to work things out.
You can use this template for your divorce mediation checklist:
5 Benefits of Mediation in Divorce
When you choose to mediate, you’re choosing a process with several benefits. These benefits include:
- Control – You retain full control over the outcome of issues. If you litigate the case, the Court will decide how to resolve the issues for you.
- Cost-Effective – As you can imagine, it’s much less expensive to pay a mediator to handle your case than it is to spend hours in Court resolving disputed issues.
- Confidential – Some individuals are uncomfortable discussing certain issues in open Court. Sessions are confidential and ensure you don’t have to air your disagreements in the public eye.
- Settlement – At Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd., our approach is to reach a settlement with your spouse and his or her attorney to save you money and the hassle and expense of a trial. This process almost always results in settlement.
- Legal Advice – Mediation doesn’t mean you don’t have an attorney to provide guidance and expertise. Rather, it means you do your best to resolve issues and can ask your lawyer for advice as needed.
Not Every Case is Ideal for Mediation…
While this process is one of the best choices for many couples, it isn’t best for all. For example, if you and your spouse genuinely don’t get along and a discussion with a mediator won’t lead to compromises and an agreement, it may be a waste of time. If serious allegations are involved in your case, such as domestic violence, you may also be better suited to keeping the case in Court.
Remember: A mediator is a neutral third party. This means they cannot order you to do anything and the issues you’re experiencing will continue until a settlement is reached. Some spouses may abuse the process to stall child support obligations or draw out a case, so it’s important to be aware of these potential problems as well.
If You’re Seeking a Mediator, Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. Can Help
With extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. offers 35 years of experience to your case.
If you’ve been considering this option or believe it may be in your best interest, contact us at 630-470-9990 or request your free, 30-minute consultation online to speak with Larry, today! We look forward to hearing your concerns and offering solutions that ensure the best possible outcome to your proceeding.