When moving towards divorce, spouses are likely doing so with little knowledge about their options. Often, the information that they do have comes from internet searches, TV shows, and other third parties. Unfortunately, much of the information garnered from these sources is not accurate.
In fact, there are a number of myths surrounding the divorce process, including alternative dispute resolution options like mediation. It is important to know myths from facts and law before proceeding with your divorce. In this post, we will look at three things people believe about mediation that are not true.
Myth #1: It is only for people who get along really well.
Mediation is not reserved for only the most amicable divorces. In fact, most people will go through the mediation process at some point during a divorce. A mediator will attend every session to ensure the conversation is balanced and productive, and while arguments can arise throughout the mediation process, mediators an help prevent disputes from derailing cooperative problem solving efforts.
Myth #2: It is better to have a judge decide.
It might feel like a judge is the best person to make legal determinations on matters like custody and property division. However, no one knows your family and your situation better than you do. Mediation keeps the control in the hands of the people who will be affected by the resolution, which can make it easier to reach mutually agreeable solutions.
Myth #3: We do not agree on everything, so mediation is not an option.
Mediation is not an all-or-nothing process. Most people resolve at least a few issues in mediation even if some issues must be decided by a judge. By making some decisions yourselves, outside of court, you can minimize the time and expense that goes into litigating elements of a divorce, custody or support matter.
These and other misconceptions about mediation and the legal process can work against a person who is navigating it for the first time. It is important to get answers and guidance for your specific case from a knowledgeable source, like a family law attorney.