In movies and television, divorce is often depicted as an expensive and emotionally draining court battle where both parties try to take each other for everything they have. While divorce is often a challenging experience, the divorce process can also be relatively smooth and inexpensive.
One way to avoid an expensive and lengthy divorce process is to undergo divorce mediation. As a type of agreed or “uncontested” divorce, a mediated divorce allows couples to settle out of court, saving costs and averting contentious or adversarial proceedings. Its purpose is to create a “win-win” scenario for both parties involved.
In a mediated divorce process, a trained, neutral third party guides the two spouses through a negotiation, allowing them to reach an amicable settlement regarding the end of their marriage. The time this takes can vary. If the couple is generally in agreement, it can pass quickly, while greater disagreements can take longer to resolve. Either way, the needs and wishes of both sides are presented, which helps create the possibility for a mutual compromise.
Professional mediators can advise the couple on how to divide assets, decide spousal support and property division, and make informed decisions about any children involved. Sometimes, other neutral experts—mental health professionals or those trained in conflict resolution—need to be in the room, which leads to a collaborative divorce. Things discussed during this process are confidential and can’t be used as evidence in court.
Divorce mediation can help a separating couple resolve a range of issues, including child custody, visitation, and the division of property. Mediation can also be used after the divorce is finalized to help work through ongoing family matters. Mediation works best for couples who are parting amicably, those who don’t want to cede any authority to a judge, or those looking for unique solutions to issues like child custody. It doesn’t work in cases of abuse, violence, or parties who are operating in bad faith. However, both a mediated and collaborative process can be quicker and cheaper alternatives to litigation.
If you decide to seek divorce mediation, an attorney can help you adequately prepare for mediation and ensure your interests are protected during the process. A lawyer can also provide legal advice during the mediation process, which mediators are not allowed to do. For more information about how a family law attorney can support you in the divorce mediation process, contact Sandoval Family Law.
At Sandoval Law Firm we understand the stress of dealing with divorce, child custody and domestic violence. Our firm consists of founding attorney Raul Sandoval Jr. and a dedicated support staff. Mr. Sandoval earned his law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Since that time, he has been practicing family law in the Austin area, as well as teaching seminars, classes and other forms of professional development.