Divorce is stressful, emotional, and draining, especially when you consider one party might not want to get divorced and instead they want to make the marriage work. Apart from questions about the future of the partners and their children, there is also the question of how to end the marriage as peacefully as possible and for everyone to get a fair outcome.
While going through the court process will lead to the dissolution of the marriage, it often devolves into situations where one partner wants to win at the expense of the other. Instead of going through such a bitter process, couples are using alternatives like mediation and collaborative divorce processes to end things amicably.
Mediation and Collaboration in Divorce
Before exploring their benefits, we should understand mediation and collaboration in divorce. Mediation involves both partners and a neutral third party whose job is to ensure a resolution everyone is happy with. While there is no obligation to, either or both parties can hire a divorce attorney to provide crucial guidance.
Collaboration, on the other hand, is a team approach that allows the partners to hire attorneys and other specialists such as child specialists, divorce coaches, financial specialists, and mental health specialists. The goal is to ensure both partners get an outcome they both are happy with.
What are the Benefits of Mediation and Collaborative Divorce?
Mediation and collaboration have numerous benefits that we will explore below.
They Save You Time and Money
Divorce is expensive, especially when you consider how long it can take. These alternative divorce processes are less expensive while ensuring both partners get the outcome they want or are happy with. The thousands of dollars partners save can be crucial as they transition out of the marriage and begin the next chapters of their lives.
Divorce litigation requires discovery and other processes that take time. Discovery is where the parties request and provide information and documents that could be crucial in litigation. This process can take one to six months, sometimes longer, leaving the couple in limbo as they wait for the next step.
Mediation and collaboration allow for the free flow of information, cutting out time for discovery and shortening the divorce process.
Collaboration and Mediation Avoids Contentious Court Battles
Divorce does not have to be about shouting, proving a point, and trying to “win”. Going into this process with this mindset often leads to bitter battles in court that can worsen the stress, pain, and heartache associated with it.
A mediator or collaborative divorce attorney helps the couple avoid the hostile tones and attitudes often displayed in court by making them understand these processes for everyone’s benefit, including their children. Such understanding typically leads to a much smoother divorce process.
Mediation Protects Your Children
While divorce is already hard on partners, it is even more difficult for children. The adversarial nature of litigation can lead to parents ignoring their children’s needs because they are too busy being hostile toward each other and trying to win.
Then there is the issue of children being asked who they want to live with. Making such decisions at a young age will undoubtedly affect them as they grow older, so partners should avoid putting them in a situation where they have to make them. Mediation can help with the issue of child custody to help in such situations.
Mediation treats partners as parents instead of litigants, ensuring that all decisions will have minimal or no impact on the children. Focusing on the kids lets partners understand what is important and why completing the process fast is crucial. This can make them focus on working things out instead of putting everyone through a lengthy process.
Mediation and Collaboration Give You Control
Hiring a divorce attorney to handle things for you means entrusting them with your future and letting them do what is best for you. They will make decisions that will profoundly impact you, so you must choose a good attorney. However, they may not bring you the best results or the results you hoped for, leaving you with two choices; continue fighting or sign the papers as-is.
Mediation, on the other hand, puts you in control. While a divorce attorney will advise you on what to do, you will be the final decision maker, ensuring the outcome is in your best interest and that of your children.
Mediation and collaboration help you avoid lengthy divorce litigation and ensure everyone is happy with their outcome. In addition to their other benefits, they also ensure your children are protected. Hiring a divorce attorney can help the process go smoother and faster so you can start your new life. At Northwest Family Law, we help you through the divorce process, putting together a plan that works best for you and your children.
You can talk to our attorneys directly by visiting our offices at the following locations:
- Bellevue – 10900 Northeast 4th St, Suite 2300, Bellevue, WA 98004
- Kirkland – 1207 Market St. Kirkland, WA 98033
You can also call now for a free consultation on (206) 792-0981.