As divorce attorneys, the Gainesville attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Straile, PLLC know that for many, deciding how to go about identifying and resolving issues in their divorce may be very difficult. Although it would be nice if divorcing couples could agree on all terms at the onset of initiating the dissolution process, this is not always possible. Fortunately, there are alternatives to resolving contested matters without the need to endure the time and expense of a trial, even in cases where initial attempts to negotiate fail. For many, mediation offers an efficient and cost-effective means of terminating a marriage, while also allowing the parties to protect their legal rights and interests and make their own decisions over the terms of the divorce.
In some divorce cases, family mediation is a mandatory requirement, and therefore, for some is viewed as more of a legal obligation as opposed to a viable option to resolving disputes. However, mediation should not be dismissed so quickly. In doing so you may be limiting yourself, particularly if you are entering the mediation with a pre-determined mindset that it will fail, or in other words, an impasse will occur. There are many benefits that can be gained through taking an open-minded approach to the mediation process, a few of which are discussed below.
Mediation can offer the opportunity for each party to openly discuss their position on particular issues, without being interrupted, or having their thoughts or ideas immediately rejected by the other party. Mediation should be viewed as a forum for discussion as opposed to argument. The process can allow each party to actually consider one another’s thoughts, suggestions, perceptions, feelings and potential solutions in a realistic manner. For many, mediation can provide the parties with further understanding as to whether or not their expectations regarding the terms of the divorce are even practical.
Mediation can be particularly beneficial in divorces where the parties share minor children. It can open the doors to future communications with a person that, regardless of divorce, will still be a part of your life, at least to the extent the children are involved. It can help divorcing couples remember that while they no longer share a life together, the children still share the parties as parents. It is important for parents to keep in mind that while they may lack concern over their soon-to-be ex-spouse, a certain amount of concern is necessary to ensure the physical, mental, and financial well-being of any children of the marriage. Mediation can pave the road to ensuring the parties protect the best interest of their children after divorce.
Perhaps the most significant consideration to using mediation over litigation to resolve disputes in a contested divorce is self-determination. Mediation can allow the parties to reach agreement on their own, rather than leave the court to use their own discretion to resolve their disputes based upon the evidence in front of them. Even if the parties are able to reach resolution on at least some issues during mediation, doing is often preferred to leaving all issues for the court to decide. Once the issues are in the court’s hands any result within the law can occur and it may not make either party happy.
Another important consideration is the manner in which mediation can aide in reducing the expenses associated with dissolving a marriage in Florida. For more on this topic, see ‘Cost-Benefit Analysis: Mediation versus Litigation.’
Every divorce can vary—and while mediation is suitable for some—it is not suitable for all. In selecting the appropriate route to take in dissolving your marriage, it is important to understand your options based upon your unique circumstances. Having an experienced divorce attorney on your side can save you time, money, and stress. Whether you are considering or in the process of divorce, contact us, we can help.