If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may dread the possibility of a contentious court battle.
Some say mediation is a great alternative but is it? Here are four mistaken ideas about divorce mediation.
The mediator takes sides
The mediator is a neutral party who cannot and will not take sides in a divorce. The divorcing couple has control over the mediation process, and the responsibilities of the mediator are to guide the parties in effective communication, to diffuse anger or emotional situations and to help them resolve sticking points.
Mediators must be attorneys or judges
The mediator who meets with you may indeed be an attorney or perhaps a retired judge, but a legal background is not a requirement. Divorce mediators are trained in alternative dispute resolution and in many fields, such as psychology, social work and business.
The internet has all the legal information a divorcing couple needs
While an internet search can provide basic legal information, the laws are always changing. A mediator can provide the parties with access to updated laws pertinent to their case.
Mediation does not work for a high-asset divorce
Mediation is an excellent divorce option for couples of all economic levels. The main points under discussion will be property division, the parenting plan and child support and alimony. When necessary, the mediator will bring in outside professionals, such as accountants, wealth managers or parenting experts to assist in addressing issues.
Benefits to consider
Myths can only go so far. As compared with litigation, mediation is less costly, stressful and time-consuming. Many high-net-worth couples also appreciate the privacy it affords. And divorcing parents find that mediation is easier for children to deal with than the strain of litigation.