A look at mediation as an alternative to court litigation

Many couples who are filing for divorce are undergoing mediation as an alternative to traditional court litigation.

For years, couples filing for divorce in Minnesota and across the county have hashed out the details of their settlement in court. In traditional court litigation, each spouse has an attorney or represents themselves in court as they negotiate the details of the decree. Although this options may remain the best choice for some couples who wish to terminate their marriage, it is not for everyone. Fortunately, there are other, less formal options for couples who want to end their marriage in a civil manner. Mediation is one of those options.

Defining mediation: What is it?

Rather than meet at an attorney's office or in court, couples who are going through mediation will meet in a non-confrontational environment. According to the Huffington Post, the couple agrees to come together and discuss the details of their own divorce settlement. While there are no attorneys present at a mediation session, there is a mediator. The mediator is there to assist the couple in creating a comprehensive divorce decree, as well as answer any legal questions that might arise. The mediator, however, is neutral and cannot give any specific advice to either party. That is why many people chose to speak with an attorney on the side to ensure that they are making the right choices and are getting everything that they are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

Is mediation advantageous?

The answer is yes... for some couples. Couples who have hostile feelings toward one another and cannot negotiate issues in a calm and professional manner may be best suited for traditional litigation. Couples, such as parents or business partners who wish to keep a good relationship in tact once the divorce is finalized, may have better luck going through mediation. Here are just a few reasons why, according to the American Bar Association:

  • Couples have more flexibility in setting their mediation appointments, rather than having to wait for a court date.
  • Mediation is less expensive and quicker than traditional litigation, and many settlements can be created in as little as one or two sessions.
  • Couples are able to have a say in their own divorce settlement rather than leave the issues in the hands of the judges.
  • People tend to be more compliant with the terms of the divorce decree when they have had a personal hand in designing it.

Couples who are going through mediation should keep in mind that if the negotiation process fails, the case must be taken to court. When this happens, each spouse will need to retain an attorney.

Finding a family attorney

Whether you are at the point where an attorney is needed for the negotiations process or you simply want to consult someone regarding your divorce options, a lawyer in Minnesota may be able to help. A divorce attorney can help to insure that you are on the right track with your divorce settlement, as well as everything else that a divorce entails.