If your marriage is heading for divorce, chances are you are already under a great deal of stress. The months or years of tension and disagreement between you and your spouse may have you feeling weary and discouraged, and the last thing you want is to face even more contention in divorce court. Like many North Carolina couples who are hoping for a gentler way to dissolve their marriages, you may be wondering if mediation is an option for you.
Mediation has helped countless spouses reach a more satisfying and less acrimonious divorce. Even partners whose breakup is a bitter one often find they can achieve success even if it means finding common ground in only a few of the divorce issues they are trying to resolve. If both you and your spouse agree that mediation may be the better way to go, you would be wise to learn as much as you can about the process to ensure the protection of your rights along the way.
The long–lasting benefits
Through mediation, you and your spouse will deal with the same issues you would in court, such as support payments, asset division and child custody. However, rather than having a judge decide these matters, you and your spouse discuss and negotiate them in the presence of a trained mediator. The mediator does not make the decisions, but he or she will guide you, make suggestions and keep the conversation moving in a positive direction.
Ideally, you and your ex will resolve the issues with a plan that is satisfying and fair to both of you. Many who go through the process also approve of the following benefits:
- Your mediated divorce is confidential and not a matter of public record.
- You may include other professionals, such as therapists, financial advisors and attorneys, to guide you in the decision–making.
- You may learn new ways to communicate effectively with your ex.
- The results of mediation are based on what is best for your family, not legal restrictions.
- Mediation is often less expensive and faster than litigation.
- Your settlement may be more effective than a court order, allowing you to avoid numerous trips to court for modifications and adjustments.
- You do not have to face the potentially destructive outcome of a litigated divorce.
Divorce through mediation does not mean you and your ex must be best friends, but a less contentious post-divorce relationship may benefit you if you are co-parenting children, running a business together or simply wanting the peace of mind of knowing you have taken the more civil road.