If you and your partner are contemplating divorce, consider contacting Wilson Brown, PLLC. Our firm has twenty-five years of experience serving San Antonians. Our family law and divorce lawyers are ready to offer guidance as you face one of life’s most stressful events. We would be happy to discuss whether we think your situation might benefit from divorce mediation during our initial consultation. Although it is a viable option for some, it is not recommended in every case.
Here are the pros and cons of professional mediation before the divorce.
The Benefits of Divorce Mediation
Mediation may be the right choice for both members of the relationship. Here are some of the benefits that can occur from divorce mediation.
Mediation may save money.
There’s a cost for divorce no matter what, but mediation may be the less expensive divorce option than heading straight to court.
Mediation may save time.
In most cases, preparing for a mediation session takes less time than preparing for a day in court. Also, because of the give and take structure of the session, you may be able to come to an agreement faster than if you communicated through attorneys.
Additionally, the divorce may be finalized faster when going through mediation since scheduling a mediation session is usually a lot easier than getting on a court’s docket.
Mediation may be the less stressful approach.
Sitting in a courtroom usually does not put people at ease. Mediations are often informal meetings, where both parties can sit down to discuss the details of the divorce without feeling rushed or intimidated.
It may also feel less stressful because the mediation process is voluntary. Both parties have to be in agreement to go through mediation, which means they feel they can work out their differences in this unstructured format.
Your attorney can still advise you.
Even if your attorney is not present at your mediation appointment, you can still receive advice from your lawyer beforehand. In fact, since you and your spouse are making important financial and familial decisions, you should certainly consult with an attorney before you come to any agreement.
The Disadvantages of Divorce Mediation
Divorce mediation is not recommended in every scenario, which is why you should discuss your situation with a divorce attorney before agreeing to this tactic. Your attorney will know the right questions to ask to help you determine if this is a viable option that would allow you to save both money, time and reduce stress.
Here are some of the drawbacks of divorce mediation that you need to strongly consider before agreeing to an appointment.
Mediation does not work for all people.
Consider your situation. Would you consider your divorce amicable? Is it desired by both parties? Do you both have the best interest of the children at heart?
If you answered “yes” to those questions, you might be a candidate for mediation. Before you agree, ask yourself these additional questions:
Is your spouse vindictive? Controlling? A narcissist? Dishonest? A bully? Is your spouse able to manipulate you by knowing your weak spots or “pushing your buttons?”
In some cases, the spouse pushing for mediation does so because they know they would be able to manipulate their partner in an informal atmosphere. If this describes your situation, it would be in your best interest to work through an attorney.
No one looks out for your interests in mediation.
A divorce mediator is a neutral party that does not offer legal advice. He or she will not look after your best interests. If you have never gone through the process before, you may not know what a typical agreement includes.
If you decide to go through mediation, please contact an attorney beforehand who will advise you on where you can be flexible and where you need to draw a line in the sand.
You may not need mediation.
Remember, mediation is for couples who still have things to work out when considering the terms of the divorce. It is not for couples who have already come to an agreement. Those couples can have their attorneys draw up their settlement terms in the proper legal format and skip the meditation.
Mediation sessions sometimes fail, and then the couple finds themselves having to rely on the often backed-up court system. While the goal of going through mediation is to save time, this only happens if both parties are willing to work together.
Contact Wilson Brown, PLLC for Advice on Your Divorce
Whether or not you decide mediation may work in your situation, please seek a family law attorney’s advice before agreeing to any settlement. Your future and the future of your children may be at stake.