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Sharon Easley
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Plano Divorce Mediation Blog

3 tips for taking the high road during divorce

When your marriage is falling apart, you may find yourself in the midst of an emotional storm. You could feel a range of emotions, including grief, anger and resentment. At such times, it is easy to result to name-calling and bickering, and you may have a strong desire to fight relentlessly to make your ex miserable. 

While these are normal feelings to experience, you should not give in to them. Instead, you should be the better person during divorce. Here are a few motivating factors for taking the high road while you and your spouse separate: 

Why mediation works so well

If you and your spouse have arrived at the point in your marriage where a Texas divorce appears likely, neither of you probably relishes the thought of an expensive, lengthy court battle during which you hurl accusations at each other across a crowded courtroom. Take heart. Divorce need not be that way.

If you seek a more amicable way to end your marriage, you would do well to consider mediation. Not only can mediation cost as much as 40-60 percent less than a traditional litigated divorce, this out-of-court process allows you and your spouse to maintain control over your respective lives instead of leaving important life-altering decisions up to a judge. Since the two of you resolve your own differences during mediated negotiations, you save yourself the excessive stress associated with many litigated divorces. Best of all, you may be able to obtain your divorce without either of you having to step foot inside a courtroom.

Preparing for mediation

If you are choosing to mediate your divorce, it is likely because you are aware of the benefits this process can yield. Mediation can deliver substantial savings both in terms of financial cost as well as in time and psychological wear and tear.

Taking the time to prepare for your mediation sessions can help you get the most out of the process. The following steps can lead to a more effective, streamlined mediation:

Can mediation help when parents have different religious beliefs?

After years of trying, you and your spouse have finally decided to call it quits. You both simply have too many differences to make your marriage work. However, now you have children to worry about, and both of you have significantly different philosophies on raising children – especially when it comes to your religious beliefs. If your faith is causing a great deal of contention during your divorce and visitation battle, you are not alone. Countless people in Texas and elsewhere are going through the same thing.

As you might expect, two people with differing faith beliefs can have a difficult marriage. The Chicago Tribune reported the results of an extensive interfaith marriage survey. The journalist conducting the survey determined that people in mixed faith marriages tend to be less stable, happy and satisfied with their relationships, with the divorce rate for interfaith marriages being high.

Why is divorce mediation often less costly compared to a divorce?

Couples stay unhappily married for many reasons, including the cost of a divorce. With divorce costs potentially running into the tens of thousands, many people are afraid that their divorce will lead to a bankruptcy. Considering that divorce is one of the top reasons why people file for bankruptcy, this is a healthy fear.

The lower cost of a mediation is a key reason why many people choose it as an alternative to divorce. While you may have heard that mediation is cheaper, you may be wondering exactly how it can save you money. Here are three common reasons why mediation is often the cheaper option compared to divorce.

3 major downsides of a litigated divorce

Divorce is a painful process that typically takes an emotional toll on all parties involved. Even if you mutually agree that it is the best option, you can likely expect a certain level of contention to follow. This is especially true if you choose to go through the traditional divorce process and duke it out in court. While this is the method of the majority, it is not necessarily the most productive path.

Many people are unaware that there is an alternative, though. Mediation offers another way to negotiate the details of a divorce without going through the process of court. There are a number of reasons why it is becoming increasingly popular. You might see why when you consider the following downsides of a litigated divorce.

What is worth fighting over in a divorce?

The divorce process is notorious for fostering contention. Feelings of anger, pain and revenge can cause spouses to choose not to act cooperatively to hurt each other. Even without those emotions, disagreements over the division of property and time with children are inevitable.

Fighting over everything in a divorce draws it out, leading to higher legal bills, more stress and a greater negative impact on children. However, being passive and unconcerned for your own welfare can also result in an undesirable outcome. How much arguing is appropriate, and about what?

Can mediation help determine who gets the family pet?

Mediation is great for couples who still get along reasonably well and want a less stressful separation process. However, those with disputes and conflicts may still find this a viable solution. It may also be possible for individuals in abusive relationships to benefit from mediation because it can help provide strength to the person who suffered abuse. 

There is a lot to discuss during mediation sessions. One item some spouses may not think to ask about is who gets the family pet. Whether a couple shared a dog, cat or bird, it is not likely spouses will be able to reach a custody agreement where they trade off. In the eyes of the court, an animal is property, so they may be better off figuring out who gets the pet during these sessions. 

The difference between divorce mediators and lawyers

Nowadays, mediation has become a popular way to move through the divorce process. However, many people still are not exactly clear on the specific differences between a mediator and a family law or divorce attorney.

It is important to distinguish between what a mediator does and the services he or she can provide in helping you handle your divorce, as opposed to what a lawyer can do. The two professionals are not the same, and the benefits of each are different. Here are some basic considerations to help you understand how mediators and divorce attorneys differ.

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