Not all divorces have to be long and complicated. Mediation is a divorce proceeding that encourages healthy communication between spouses in order for such individuals to reach a solution on their own. If you are considering divorce mediation, a Boca Raton divorce lawyer can help you determine if it is the right option for you.
Mediation in Divorce Proceedings
Mediation in divorce proceedings differ from traditional divorce proceedings. In traditional divorce, spouses present their needs and information to a judge who ultimately makes the final decision on the terms and conditions of the divorce. Meanwhile, in mediation divorce proceedings, spouses work with a mediator to solve issues regarding distribution of property, child custody and parenting time, child support and alimony. A divorce attorney in Boca Raton can help select a skillful mediator to assist with your divorce.
The mediation process can be described as a healthy series of private communication between spouses looking to divorce under the supervision of a professional. Both individuals are allowed to express themselves openly and honestly to settle their conflicts. Each meeting is usually no more than two hours long. Once a decision is reached, the mediator is responsible for drafting a contract of the terms and conditions of the divorce. These documents are filed with the court once the spouses review and sign the document. A Boca Raton divorce attorney can provide assistance with filing the necessary documents with a court of law.
Divorce Mediator Explained
The divorce mediator can be an attorney, counselor, child specialist or any other professional. The mediator’s main role is to facilitate healthy communication between spouses and their attorneys (if applicable). When the conversation becomes stagnant, tense or unproductive, the divorce mediator may intervene to provide guidance. He/she may also assist with helping the divorcing couple reach clarity. Most significantly, the divorce mediator is expected and required to be neutral on all topics during the series of meetings. This means that the divorce mediator is not allowed to agree or disagree with anyone. He/she is not permitted to be biased or take sides.
Benefits & Disadvantages of Mediation
There are benefits and disadvantages to mediation divorce. Ultimately, deciding on mediation divorce depends on the needs and desires of divorcing spouses, as well as their relationship with and toward each other.
Divorce mediation is advantageous in that:
- Divorcing spouses are in control of the divorce process and the final decision.
- Divorcing spouses are encouraged to engage in healthy communication. They exercise proper listening skills, empathy and ways to reveal feelings. This type of fostered communication may repair broken relationships and improve future/post-divorce relations (especially if and when future conflicts arise).
- Mediation divorce is less costly than traditional divorce proceedings.
- Mediation divorce is private. This encourages open honesty between divorcing spouses. Also, the conversations and events that occur during the mediation process are not recorded or available to the public.
- A mediator is similar to a coach. He/she is useful during the process, especially if a conversation becomes intense.
- Mediation divorce proceedings are less timely. They are more flexible.
On the other hand, mediation divorce may also be unsuitable for many spouses.
- Mediation divorce is not recommended or ideal for cases involving child abuse or domestic violence. Although some victims feel empowered during the mediation process, the experience may trigger feelings of intimidation and other unhealthy emotions. It may also be a threat to safety.
- Mediation divorce does not work for individuals who are unable to get along or reach solutions on basic issues.
- There is no guarantee that issues will be solved during mediation divorce. There is a possibility that spouses may not reach a solution at all. If this happens, it will be a waste of time and funds.
- Albeit a pro for most, the mediator is required to be neutral during mediation divorce. He/she cannot intervene unless it is necessary. Spouses should be aware that if their counterpart states things that are “below the belt” or slanders the other person, there may be nothing that the mediator can do.
Why Use Mediation
After carefully considering the advantages and disadvantages of mediation divorce, it is best to contact divorce lawyers in Boca Raton, FL to determine if it is suitable for you. Mediation certainly has its disadvantages, but the advantages of a mediation divorce may very well outweigh the bad. It is an experience that is cost-effective, honest and is almost always successful.
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Boca Raton Divorce Lawyers
Boca Raton divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Theodore Enfield, P.A. have handled many types of divorces. We understand that the process is never easy, especially when there are so many decisions to make that impact finances, children and property. Mediation divorce is not right for everyone, but it may very well be right for you. If you are considering mediation as an alternative to traditional divorce proceedings, contact us today. We will help you make the right choice.
Divorce lawyers in Boca Raton, FL are happy to answer all of your questions regarding mediation and divorce. Review the following information to decide if mediation is appropriate for you.