- posted: Jun. 30, 2022
In 2019 alone, almost 750,000 people in the U.S. opted to end their marriages. For those couples wishing to part amicably or those wishing to avoid a lengthy court process, mediation is a viable alternative to the court process, and offers several benefits.
Mediation involves having a neutral third party facilitate communications and negotiations between the spouses. Mediators are trained problem-solvers who help couples come to a voluntary mutual agreement on issues like property division, spousal support and child custody. While mediation is not free, it can still involve significantly less time and money overall.
The first step in the mediation process begins with the mediator meeting with each party separately to gather basic information about each spouse, the family and issues related to the divorce.
During mediation, the couples may choose to sit in the same room or separate rooms as discussions begin. A spouse may opt to have an attorney accompany them during mediation sessions. In some instances, it may be possible for spouses to conduct mediation online.
Discussions will continue until the parties either reach an agreement or discover that they are so far apart on issues that no compromise is possible.
If the parties reach a settlement agreement, the mediator helps put the terms agreed upon into writing and the parties or their attorneys submit the agreement to the court for review. If the court approves the settlement agreement, it will become part of the final divorce decree.
Mediation allows for more privacy and discretion as it is a confidential process, and no public record is created of any discussions occurring between spouses during sessions.
Mediation also helps reduce the tension often involved in divorces. When couples mediate, they tend to be happier with the outcome because they are heavily involved in the discussions and negotiations. Additionally, mediators help couples stay focused on what’s important rather than dwelling on issues from the past.
Litigating a divorce can require multiple court dates that go on longer than either party would like. Mediation often speeds up the divorce resolution process by reducing the number of hearings and court dates.
At Anker Law Group, P.C. in Rapid City, South Dakota, we help clients with various family law matters, including divorce mediation. Schedule a free initial consultation with a member of our legal team by calling 605-519-5967 or contact us online.