Like most people out there going through divorce for the first time, I was very unprepared for the reality of how the process works. Having no real-world experience, I just assumed it automatically ends up with both sides slugging it out in front of a judge. However, as I found out once the divorce began, that isn’t necessarily the case.
One aspect that really surprised me in its effectiveness was mediation, which offers both sides the chance to work out issues on their own terms without a judge simply handing down a ruling. Mediation is sometimes mandatory, though most good attorneys will advise you to at least attempt mediating your disputed issues before resorting to court.
Having the chance to discuss things in a more friendly and comfortable environment was very beneficial, and my ex-wife and I were able to resolve pretty much all of our differences before we ever reached the courtroom. This was obviously a pleasant surprise, because I had envisioned a far more confrontational and hostile process from what I had seen on TV or heard from stories second hand.
Let me explain a little how the mediation process works to give you an idea of what to expect if you go through this process during a divorce.
You and your ex will bring your attorneys and sit down with a neutral third-party mediator (either together or separate), who is trained to assist with crafting a fair and agreeable settlement. You are then able to take turns explaining your sides of the issues you disagree on, which can be anything from custody to property. With the help of the mediator, you can hopefully find common ground somewhere in the middle that is acceptable to both sides.
It is important to note that you should always bring a lawyer who is looking out for your rights to ensure you fully understand the legal consequences of any proposal before you agree to the terms. This is especially important for fathers who are attempting to negotiate custody.
You will want an experienced men’s and fathers’ rights lawyer on your side, such as the attorneys at Cordell & Cordell, to ensure you don’t get the short end of the stick because you misunderstood some finer detail of the law.
With the legal advice from your attorneys and the creativity of the mediator, it is actually much easier than you might expect to overcome issues that you and your spouse may have completely differing feelings on going into the mediation session.I was fortunate that my ex-wife and I were able to come to an acceptable agreement on most of our problem areas, and clearly this won’t work out perfectly for everyone. However, I would highly recommend that anyone going through divorce attempt mediation since you don’t have much to lose, and every issue you are able to successfully resolve is one less that the judge decides for you.