Realizing that your marriage is heading towards divorce can be a confusing and overwhelming period of life. You might have preconceived notions of what divorce looks like, and may even be imagining dragged out court battles in which you and your ex fight over the smallest details. However, it does not have to be like this, and a peaceful approach to divorce might even be easier than you imagine.
When using an alternative method of dispute resolution, most couples in Florida can reach agreeable solutions to their issues faster and cheaper than if they had gone to court. Here is what you need to know about mediation and when to negotiate.
How does mediation work?
If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on relatively good terms but disagree over the exact terms of your divorce, mediation might be a good fit. In this process, the two of you will sit down with an impartial mediator who will guide the process. It is important to remember that the mediator will not be making any of these decisions for you, though.
Your final agreement should cover all of the factors otherwise covered in divorce. This includes not just property division, but also things like:
- Child custody
- Child support
However, if you can't reach an agreement on an issue, you can draft a settlement for all other issues and then request that the court decide any outstanding matters.
Negotiation is essential
Mediation only works when you are both willing to compromise. In a world where compromising is sometimes portrayed as a weakness rather than a willingness to work towards something greater, this can be a difficult feat. However, remember what you might be taking on when you refuse to negotiate -- higher legal bills, more stress and a path towards litigation.
Instead, decide what is most important to you, and be willing to compromise on everything else. If you are using mediation, then your mediator will help you facilitate this difficult but rewarding process.
You are not alone
Using mediation does not mean that you forego all other forms of help. While a skilled mediator will ensure that everyone at the table is cooperating, they will not advocate for one person over the other. When it comes to protecting your rights, you should not leave anything to chance.
An experienced family law attorney can further guide and facilitate the mediation process by making sure that you are fully aware of the situation, know your rights and understand how to find a common ground between those two things. Perhaps most importantly for Florida divorcees is having a personal representative who is dedicated to upholding their best interests.