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Can Divorce Mediation be a Better Choice than Court?

The Rule

Well, absolutely, but not all of the time. What is interesting is the courts have come to find out that divorce mediation works and that it is a valuable option for people in need to settling their divorce case. Regardless of what is really going on in a case, many Courts have promulgated rules that require divorce mediation in just about every type of family law case.

There are exceptions though which include any post judgment enforcement type of a case where there has been a lack of financial support. An example of this includes failure to pay child support or failure to pay alimony.Failure to abide by the mediation requirement usually results in a refusal by the court to move forward with a hearing even if it has been set.

Why Choose Divorce Mediation?

Why not? What do you have to loose? By choosing divorce mediation, the parties have a confidential option to discuss their issues and to actually settle their case in a manner that best caters to their specific family needs. The alternative is to have a judge decide the case.

To some, having a judge make the decision sounds good. Many times people want to have someone else stick it to their spouse. But the reality is that, that isn’t really how it works. For the most part judges are very professional. They are supposed to be a neutral finder of fact. And the judges only hear what is being told and what has been accepted as evidence.

The overwhelming thought, even by the judges, is that there is no way that any judge will be able to hear everything and will be able to understand the family with as much detail as the actual parties.

The answer to the question, “why choose divorce mediation” is so that you may own your result and so that you may have a result that most makes sense for your family.

What’s to Divorce Mediation?

It actually depends on the type. At the end of the day however, there are pretty much the same things being dealt with. When people decide to use divorce mediation they have different options to choose from.

The first option is what we call Court house mediation. This is mediation through the mediation and diversion office of the local courthouse. If a couple elects to mediate through the mediation and diversion office they will need a court order. One of the great benefits is that this is usually the cheapest type of mediation. The down side of it is that you never know which mediator you are going to get. While most of the contract mediators are good, not all of them may be good at every area that you specifically need assistance with.

The second type of mediation is private mediation. This can be broken down into the following types: a)Single mediator b) pro-se (without lawyers) c) co-mediation and d) online mediation.

The single mediator approach to divorce mediation involves one mediator. The parties can be represented or can be without lawyers. The parties can choose from a number of mediators including lawyers, mental health professionals or other’s who are certified in family law mediation.

Pro-se or without lawyer mediation can be done through a private mediator. This is usually the most bang for your buck in that there is no expense for lawyer fees but the parties can instead put their money towards a mediator who is a lawyer and who knows the inns and outs of parenting plans.

Co-mediation is a wonderful type of mediation that involves two mediators. Many times people don’t want to put the money towards lawyer fees but who are instead interested in getting qualified individuals who understand the law and the legal requirements of settlement agreements and parenting plans and at the same time wish to find someone to handle the emotional component of the experience. Co-mediation is a solid and efficient method of resolving faces through divorce mediation.

What if We Need to Change Something?

Not a problem. Changing something just got easier. The parties always have the right to go back to their mediator and iron out anything that needs to be adjusted. Who better to know your case! Remember, things change and sometimes you need someone to put it down in writing for you.

Why keeping the Peace is Better than Going to Trial?

And this goes back to the primary question, Can divorce mediation be better than court? The answer again is yes. Remember, couples that choose not to fight and to settle their matter outside of court are more inclined to avoid future disputes. Couples who hash it out and sling mud in court on the other hand are going to resent each other that much more and ultimately create and endure conflict for many years to come. So do what you can to keep the peace and enjoy it going forward!

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