Family law is very personal, for it deals with people’s problems when they are at their most emotional and vulnerable states. Couples who have decided to divorce are facing the most serious problem they may have ever had to handle. If children are involved, the ability to compromise and make well-thought-out decisions in the best interests of the children is paramount. However, the typical American adversarial divorce, where both parties are angry and determined to get as much as possible, does not always lead to solutions that are in the best interests of either party or the children.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation offers an alternative to the conventional divorce process. It is not the answer for everyone but works well for many couples. This is a voluntary or court-ordered process designed to encourage the divorcing couple to work out the details themselves. Each situation is unique. When a couple is able to compromise and work out issues themselves, the ultimate agreement will normally work better for all concerned. Mediation is also less expensive than litigation.
Mediation is a confidential process where the couple meets with a mediator who acts as a neutral party and assists them in reaching a legally acceptable agreement. The mediator must be impartial. One of the advantages is the flexibility of mediation. No one understands the situation facing the divorcing couple better than they do. While they would probably find it very difficult to work out the separation and custody arrangements entirely on their own, the presence of an impartial mediator experienced in assisting in these situations can be very helpful.
Most divorce agreements can be resolved in four to ten sessions. If either party is unwilling to honestly participate in the process, the mediation is terminated, and the divorce litigation will resume, leaving the decision of those unresolved issues in the hands of the Court.
Jonathan Feavel is a family law Attorney in Washington, Indiana. For divorcing couples who wish to explore this option, Jonathan Feavel offers his services as a certified family law mediator. Feavel Law Office has been servicing the legal needs of the community in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, injury law and civil litigation since 1994.