If you have reached the point in your marriage where divorce is inevitable, it might still be possible for you and your spouse to work cooperatively to make the divorce less stressful for yourselves and your children. Consider completing your divorce through mediation, a process where a neutral third party guides the divorcing couple to a mutually satisfying divorce settlement through a series of guided discussions. With mediation, you can avoid the stress and combative nature of the courtroom while saving money.
Ask Yourself the Following Questions
Mediation is not right for every divorcing couple. To determine if mediation is right for you and your spouse, answer the following questions honestly:
- Do I harbor resentment toward my spouse?
- Could my feelings about my spouse and the divorce impact how willing I am to work cooperatively with him or her?
- Is my spouse capable of working amicably with me?
- Am I willing to be flexible about my divorce settlement?
- Do I trust my spouse?
- Do I have clearly defined goals for my divorce and am I willing to voice them, work toward them, and accept compromises involving them?
Your lawyer can provide insight about the divorce process that can help you answer these questions.
Differences Between Mediation and Other Divorce Methods
Do not confuse mediation with collaborative divorce, which is another alternative to the traditional courtroom divorce. With collaborative divorce, there is no mediator. Instead, the couple works directly together to develop their divorce settlement.
With mediation, your mediator talks you and your spouse through each part of the divorce process, such as dividing your assets and developing a parenting plan. A mediator can help you articulate your points and reach an understanding with your spouse about his or her positions on the same issues. The mediator will ask you both questions that will help all parties in the room gain a better understanding of your goals for the divorce and the circumstances present in your marriage.
Talk to Your Spouse About Divorce Mediation
You cannot make the choice to mediate on your own. If you are considering mediation, talk to your spouse about it. Provide him or her with resources that he or she can use to learn more about divorce mediation. Do not try to pressure your spouse into using mediation to complete your divorce; this is a choice you need to make together. Consider speaking with a mediator together to learn more about the process before you commit to using it to end your marriage. Mediation can be an effective tool, but it is not ideal for everybody.
Work with an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
To learn more about mediation, speak with one of the experienced divorce lawyers on our team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. We can answer any questions you have to help you and your spouse make empowered decisions about your divorce. Contact our office today to set up your initial consultation with us.
Schedule a mediation appointment with Attorney James Naugler. In-person, ZOOM, and telephone appointments are available. Jim has been practicing in La Crosse, Wisconsin since 1979.