26 Oct The Pros and Cons of Divorce Mediation
If you are going through the motions of a divorce, you will be faced with a number of important decisions. The longer you have been with your spouse before seriously contemplating a divorce, the more children you have if you have any at all and how much communally owned assets you share determine just how many decisions you need to make.
The easiest and best solution is that you are able to communicate with your spouse in a civilized and cooperative manner so that you can make these important decisions honestly and successfully without needing external support.
Unfortunately, the very reasons why you are seeking a divorce could prevent you both from sorting out your affairs without the help of anyone else. You might not even want to talk to your spouse face to face without it breaking out into an argument.
There are two main options other than sorting out things independently together. These are mediation and using an attorney and the Family Law Court. There is no hard and fast way of knowing which method is the best as there are pros and cons of both. Below some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a mediator are discussed.
- This is the cheapest way of making decisions about your affairs as there are no attorneys’ fees or court costs. You will still have to pay the mediator, but the cost can be shared between you and your spouse.
- Using a mediator works better if you are still able to communicate and listen to your spouse and vice versa.
- The mediation sessions are more informal than a court appearance and there is no pressure on either spouse to agree to the mediator’s advice or suggestions.
- Using a mediator can be a shorter process than using the courts.
Note that the mediator will attempt to gain an overall detailed impression of how much assets are owned by each spouse or in common ownership as well as the needs of each child, if any. Details of assets must be made available so that the mediator can assess them and come to a suggestion as to how they should be divided. Obviously this is a good method if both spouses have confidence in each other to not hide assets in an attempt for them to be not included in a division.
Basically, the cons are the reverse of the pros.
- Mediation is not likely to work well if the relationship between the two spouses has deteriorated so much that meeting together could be acrimonious or because the two spouses do not trust each other sufficiently to use the advice and suggestions made by the mediator.
- The mediator does not have the legal experience and qualifications of a divorce attorney. This means for instance that if one spouse is hiding assets, it is not within the mediator’s capacity to make the spouse make them available for inspection. This is not true if using an attorney as the attorney can request that assets are available for inspection in the discovery process.
- Some mediators are often under a lot of work pressure and may not have the time to spend with the two spouses and yet may make decisions which are later regretted as they have been made too hastily.
- If you try mediation and it doesn’t lead to a satisfactory outcome, you may end up having to use an attorney anyway.
- If the spousal break up is partially or fully due to a history of domestic abuse, the mediator will not be able to handle decisions that have to be made.
An Orange County lawyer can help you with your divorce
Because a divorce means drawing up a legal agreement, you are best advised to contact an experienced divorce law attorney like Damian Nolan, Orange County lawyer, to help you through the process, especially if you have got to the stage where there is a communication breakdown between you and your spouse. You can contact the Law Firm of Damian Nolan at 562-634-1115.