Choosing to separate is a large decision. And it is not one to take lightly. But it is not the final step in the process. Once a married couple has decided to get legally separated there are dozens of more decisions that need to be made. One of the first decisions is how you will approach legal separation. When most people think of a divorce they think about traditional litigation. Both parties hire their own representation and bring their individual cases to family court. A judge creates the final court order that both parties will have to abide by. But there are other options. Many couples choose mediation because it is less expensive, quicker, more private, and most importantly, the couple has control of the outcome. Here are some factors to consider.
Can Both Parties Agree To Mediation
It seems obvious, but it has to be said. Mediation will not work if one party can’t agree to the process. Mediation requires collaboration and compromise. For many couples seeking a divorce, being able to work together might not be a strong skill at the moment. But the incentives can often overcome any communication issues a couple is having. Mediation is private, which means couples only have to share what they are comfortable sharing with their mediator. Mediation can also be both more affordable and quicker because you are working with one mediator instead of two separate attorneys. But most importantly, mediation means control. The final court order is made by the individuals, not by a court. This is especially helpful for couples with kids who want to ensure that both parents are able to have access to their children.
Can It Be Resolved Through Mediation?
Not every dispute can be solved effectively through mediation. Aside from unwilling participants, there are other circumstances that make mediation impossible. Cases involving domestic violence are not recommended for mediation. Any situation where there is a large difference in power between the two parties or there is information that is being kept from a particular party may not be ideal for mediation. In those cases, traditional litigation through family court is a better avenue. Through the process of discovery certain information must be disclosed to all parties and made known to the courts. So if there is an issue with secrecy, mediation may not be the right choice.
What Outcome Do Both Parties Wish To Achieve?
Another important factor to consider is the overall outcome you both hope to achieve. The process of mediation only works if compromises can be made. For instance, if both parents want full custody of their children or want ownership of a property, and are not willing to budge or make compromises, mediation will not be possible. Although you do not need to agree on everything heading into mediation, you do need to be able to compromise throughout the process.
Learn More About Mediation in Worcester
If you are interested in learning more about mediation or learning how mediation may be applied to your specific case, you can contact our office in Worcester. Deidre Healy provides mediation services and divorce litigation services to clients in Worcester county.
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