At this point in our lives, most of us who have friends who have been divorced, perhaps, even multiple times. Someone in our circle can tell horror stories about the divorce process; whether it is the costs, fighting, life drain, etc. And, for some, these horror stories have convinced them to hold of on a divorce, even if they are not happy. It is the “devil you know” philosophy, but a divorce does not have to be contentious.
Mediation can lower the temperature
While many do not know it, divorce mediation can take the place of divorce litigation. Through this process, a couple works with an independent, impartial third-party to find an amicable divorce solution. The mediator gets to know what the goals of each party are, and tries to find a way to match those two paths, stitching together a mutually agreeable resolution to an unhappy divorce.
Benefits of mediation
First, the entire goal is compromise and amicability, so it is, by definition, not as contentious as divorce, which can free up a lot of mental capital. But, perhaps, more importantly, it is much cheaper than a drawn-out litigation battle. Of course, the two sides still retain attorneys to make sure their rights are protected, but there are no litigation costs. Plus, as neutral experts are usually used and the backlogged court system avoided, the time it takes to divorce can be much shorter, allowing people to start their new lives much faster.
Mediation only works if both sides want it to work. If the other side is breathing fire, then mediation will not work because it requires compromise. If there is some fear that the other spouse will hide assets or liabilities, these may be harder to discover in mediation, so for those incidents, mediation is not recommended. It is always better to take a liar to court. This is also true when domestic violence is involved because a court order will be needed to keep the abuser away.
For our readers in Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William and Louduon Counties, the key here is that a long litigation battle does not always await those looking to divorce. For those in the Washington, D.C., metro area, there are options.