Divorce always requires family court oversight, but that doesn’t mean you have to litigate. You and your spouse can agree on how to divide property, share parental responsibilities and otherwise separate your lives.
Couples that reach their own agreements can file for uncontested divorces. Rather than presenting evidence about their household finances and marital issues in court, those pursuing uncontested divorces simply need to follow court procedure and wait for a judge to review and approve their agreements.
Mediation has become a common way for divorcing couples to reach an uncontested filing. What are some of the potential benefits of divorce mediation?
A carefully controlled settlement
A lot is left to a judge’s discretion in a litigated divorce. They will have to try to understand your family’s circumstances and then apply state law to the situation.
The solutions they devise may be creative and effective, but they may run completely contrary to your ideal outcome for the divorce. Especially for those who desire specific custody arrangements or who need to protect particular assets, mediation is a good tool because it gives them control over the settlement.
A confidential place to resolve disputes
Family law judges are quite effective at settling disputes, but the issues that they rule on typically become part of the public record.
It isn’t hard to see why allegations of infidelity or other forms of spousal misconduct, like alcoholism, would impact what spouses think is fair in the divorce. It’s also not hard to understand why many people don’t want such accusations or discussions occurring in court.
What you say in mediation remains confidential, allowing you to talk about the difficult issues from your marriage without destroying each other’s reputations.
Practice working together for co-parents
If you have children, mediation can be particularly beneficial. It helps you and your ex find common ground and start viewing each other as members of the same team, rather than as opponents.
Working together as you share custody will make this transition easier for both of you and your children. More importantly, when you start to focus on one another as parents and not as failed spouses, it will be much easier for you to have a positive relationship, which the children will be able to see every time you interact.