St. Charles, MO- When it comes to divorce, filing the initial petition is just the first step of many to come. After the initial filing, there will be issues a couple needs to work through, namely dividing their assets and determining child custody. To settle these issues a couple has different options they can explore, that includes mediation, arbitration or a court trial to settle these contentious issues.
Whether a couple chooses arbitration or mediation depends on the various circumstances, but our team of divorce attorneys in St. Charles find that many of their clients will benefit from mediation.
Mediation is process through which divorcing couples hash out their disagreements and work to a mutual decision on child custody and how to divide their assets.
During the mediation process, a couple and their legal representation meet with a third party, the mediator to discuss their issues and how to resolve them. Mediators are there to simply help a couple make decisions about the important issues and don’t make any decisions for them. A mediator has nothing to lose or gain in the process, therefore they can be objective and offer solutions to problems that an estranged couple are unable to be objective about. Mediation is a process controlled by the couple, their representation and the mediator, not a court or a judge so they have more flexibility in coming up with a satisfactory divorce settlement.
Some Pros of Mediation:
- Less expensive than a court trial and multiple hearings
- It’s private, there are no public records of negotiations or settlement arrangements
- A divorce lawyer can be present to offer advice
- Decisions about a couple’s life are not made by a court within the confines of court
- Teaches a couple communication skills so they a way to resolve future issues
Mediation has many couple move past tough decisions and settle their issues with a modicum of pain. A couple can choose to negotiate with each other directly or have their divorce attorneys negotiate for them. Mediators are willing to do whatever it takes to help a couple negotiate with each other with as little fighting or arguing as possible.
If a couple decides mediation is the best way for them to settle their divorce, the need to contact a mediator. A divorce law firm may have a mediator on staff or can refer a couple to one. Once a mediator has been lined up, they will collect the information they need about a couple’s divorce set up a meeting. The aim of a mediator is to help a couple get over their personal problems and conduct rational negotiations in order to settle their divorce.
There are instances in which mediation may not be the best route for a couple, but it is a helpful process to many couples. Before deciding whether mediation is right for them, a divorcing couple needs to meet with a divorce or child custody attorney to determine if this is the route they should pursue.