Many Missouri residents have complex issues to resolve when going through the divorce process. Because of this, they often feel that going to court to finalize their dissolution proceedings is inevitable. Truthfully, they can still avoid going to court if they are willing to talk things through. Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that can work for most couples, even when complex issues need resolving.
What is mediation? How does it work? Why might you want to consider it?
Mediation is, in short, meetings to discuss divorce terms. You and your spouse meet with a mediator and try to work out who gets to keep what, child custody and support terms — if applicable — and alimony terms, if desired. The number of mediation sessions it takes to resolve all issues varies per couple. Some people can reach agreeable terms quickly, while others may take months or longer trying to reach fair settlements.
Why choose mediation?
Not everyone wants to go to court to fight things out. Mediation offers a better way to reach dissolution terms without the time and expense of taking the matter before a judge. Other benefits of mediation include:
- Respectful parting
- Informal setting
It simply is a better way to reach terms that are specific to your family’s needs without the stress of going through the traditional legal process.
Yes, you can seek help through the mediation process
Choosing mediation does not mean you lose the right to seek assistance from legal counsel. You can have an experienced attorney guide you through the process and help you achieve a settlement that is fair and meets your needs.
Can it work for you?
It can if you are willing to put in the effort. Mediation takes work and time. It takes both parties being willing to talk, negotiate and give a little when necessary. It will not work if one party tries to use it as a way to take advantage of the other party. It will not work if you go in with a set agenda and refuse to budge. It will not work if you or your spouse go in expecting it not to work.
Keeping an open mind is essential, as is maintaining sight on the end goal — dissolving the marriage quickly, fairly and without drama. You can do it, and you do not have to do it alone.