If you are considering filing for divorce, you should consider engaging in mediation before filing for contested divorce. Mediation offers a fair alternative to litigation where you and your spouse determine, with the assistance of neutral third party, custody arrangements for children, financial needs of the family, and division of assets.
Mediation can significantly reduce the adversarial element of divorce, and save you time and money in the process. The structured process allows the husband wife to establish their own goals and design for themselves, with help, the best way to use their own resources.
The mediation process will work only if the husband and wife are willing to make a good-faith effort to reach agreement. You and your spouse are both free to consult with an attorney regarding the mediation; however, during the meetings only you, your spouse and your neutral third party mediator are present. You should engage a mediator with experience in divorce litigation, so he or she can best guide you and your spouse through all the issues that must be decided.
There is no obligation to agree in mediation. Therefore, there can be no guarantee that you and your spouse will be able to resolve all aspects of your divorce in mediation. However, if both parties are willing to engage in the process, and make good-faith efforts to come to agreement that is fair and reasonable for all parties, you can avoid the draining effects of a contested divorce.
-Elisabeth R. Feeney, Esq.