Does the thought of letting a judge decide your post-divorce future make you cringe? You aren't alone. Numerous other Arkansas couples realize that they don't want to put their futures in the hands of a judge when it comes to creating a financially secure future.
This could at least partially explain the increase in divorce mediation. It allows couples like you and your soon-to-be former spouse to retain control over the outcome and the decision-making process. It allows the two of you to work together and lay the foundation for a more friendly post-divorce relationship, which could come in handy if you will continue to raise children together.
That's just the beginning...
Divorce mediation also offers many other benefits that you may take advantage of as you work to reach a mutually satisfying settlement, including the following:
- Mediation often costs less than the traditional courtroom route.
- You can keep your negotiations and settlement private.
- Mediation often takes much less time than going to court.
- You can discuss and implement creative ways to resolve your issues.
- The atmosphere is much less formal.
- Mediation encourages you both to speak your mind and compromise.
- The final settlement is often much better for your family than the court could order.
- Most couples find that they are more willing to adhere to an agreement they created.
- Since mediation isn't adversarial, you may come out of it with a better post-divorce relationship.
You may also come up with a way to resolve any conflicts that you and the other party may have in the future. Court-ordered agreements often require you to return to court in order to resolve any disputes. You may be able to avoid this eventuality by including a conflict resolution method that you both agree on in your settlement.
Your mediator can't give legal advice
It's true that many mediators are attorneys. However, they cannot provide either of you with legal advice. The mediator may tell you what the court would do under certain circumstances and may offer suggestions for resolution to a particular issue, but that is the limitation of any advice.
You may still want to have your own legal advocate throughout the process to provide you with essential legal advice during your negotiations. This could prove invaluable since the court still needs to approve any settlement the two of you agree to through mediation. In addition, if you can't resolve a particular issue, you may need the court's help, and if you already have an attorney by your side, that process could go more smoothly.