In order to save money during a divorce, many couples are turning to mediation. If mediation fails, litigation is still an option.
“When couples are facing divorce, many of them automatically think about going to court. Tempers flare, stress is high and the parties don’t know what to do, other than contact a lawyer. That is the first step. The second is to find out what your rights are in the state you live in, and the third step is to ask if there are other alternatives to going to court. There are other alternatives, and one of them is mediation,” added Bill Thode, a Denver divorce lawyer.
Most mediation sessions do end with a signed agreement; a formal accord drafted for the parties before they leave the session. This is not just for something to do, as some courts require that this be done, more so if a divorce case is pending litigation, and is slated for mediation prior to the court date. Just because there is an attempt at mediation, does not always ensure the parties come to an agreement. If they do not, they have the choice to proceed along the traditional path to a divorce, through litigation in court, or ask for arbitration.
“If the mediation process was not a success, everything discussed is confidential. The mediator may not be called to testify in court. All of the parties, including their lawyers, are obligated to keep what was said in mediation confidential. The only information revealed is material that either of the participants agrees and approves to be released,” Thode explained.
Mediation is a benefit for parties hoping to save time, money and stress, as they have complete control of the outcome. While mediators are there to facilitate the process, they do not make the final decisions. That is up to the parties to come to terms to reach an agreement or not. “Do you need an attorney representing you during mediation? Not really. You may proceed on their own, as it is often the case that attorneys have their own agenda,” said Thode.
Given the non-adversarial nature of mediation, many couples hoping for a better, less contentious outcome to their divorce process, may wish to try this alternative, before going straight to court. While some individuals may feel more comfortable with an attorney present to assist in giving advice, explaining issues and how they may impact on the divorce, the mediator is fully capable of doing that, for less money.
“It is a personal choice to pursue mediation and to either go it on your own or to have an attorney with you. You need to do what works for you, as you are the one that has to live with the final outcome, either way,” Thode stated. A compassion divorce lawyer will offer a client various options that they may wish to consider in obtaining their divorce, and that may include mediation or arbitration. However, should all other routes fail, they will take the case to court.