mediation lawyer

The Role of Mediation in an Alabama Divorce

Whether you’re just starting to consider divorce as an option or you’ve already begun the legal process of ending your marriage, you’ve likely heard the term mediation come up multiple times. Mediation strives to give another option to couples who don’t want a painful, drawn-out court battle when ending their marriage. It has numerous benefits and is the ideal option in some situations.

If you’re considering mediation as an alternative, we’re here to help you weigh your options and explore your rights. Call Coumanis & York at 251-990-3083 to schedule a consultation now.

Avoiding an Adversarial Divorce

For many people, the primary purpose of mediation is to avoid an adversarial and confrontational divorce process. For decades, that was the only option for couples wanting to divorce. However, drawn-out court battles can be devastating to a healthy co-parenting relationship and leave both parties with significant financial troubles.

Mediation approaches divorce issues from a cooperative standpoint, rather than a confrontational standpoint. It acknowledges that both parties have an ideal outcome in mind and hopes to find a solution that both parties are satisfied with.

Negotiating Difficult Issues

Mediation can be an extremely helpful tool when it comes to hashing out difficult topics and issues in your divorce. If you and your spouse try to communicate about these issues on your own, you may find that your conversations devolve into arguing and personal attacks. When a neutral mediator is involved, it’s easier to keep the focus on the matter at hand and avoid letting emotions take over. Mediation is a helpful tool for all types of divorce disputes, including the division of assets, the division of debts, child custody, child support, and alimony.

Bringing in a Third Party

The mediator is a neutral third party without any personal tie to either spouse. Typically, mediators are attorneys or judges with additional training in mediation. It is important to choose a mediator trusted by both parties and their attorneys, otherwise the mediator’s recommendations may not be taken seriously. The third party must be able to listen to both sides’ arguments, determine how a court may look at the issue at hand, and give unbiased advice to both parties. Their end goal is to reach a mutually beneficial decision that helps both parties avoid going to court.

Benefits of Mediation

There are numerous potential advantages that come with mediation, including:

  • Lower overall cost than a court battle
  • Allows both spouses to remain in control of what they will and will not agree to
  • Keeps the process private, compared to divorce court cases that are publicly accessible
  • Limit the emotional fallout of painful divorce decisions
  • Allows both spouses to work together as a team, rather than fight each other
  • Can preserve and strengthen the co-parenting relationship
  • Limits the amount of time spent in court

When Mediation Does and Doesn’t Work

If you are considering mediation, it is important to take a realistic look at your divorce case and think about whether or not mediation is a viable option for you.

Mediation might be a good choice for you if there is minimal conflict in your divorce or if you are both willing to put aside your current conflict to work together. A mediator is often able to overcome these disputes and help both parties come to an agreeable compromise.

On the flip side, if your spouse is very angry about the divorce and is determined to make you pay, they may refuse to cooperate in mediation just to hurt you. This leaves you with both mediation bills and the bills that come with an extensive court case.

It’s often a good option for parents with minor children. Minor children often suffer the most in a divorce, and mediation allows the parents to keep their needs at the forefront. Mediation can lay the groundwork for a cooperative co-parenting relationship.

Mediation is not typically recommended if abuse is a factor in the divorce. An abuser can use their victim’s willingness to compromise against them and further victimize them during the divorce process. If this is your situation, it may be best to limit direct contact in every way possible and allow all communication to go through your attorney.

Choose Coumanis & York for Your Divorce Case

The team at Coumanis & York knows that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions for divorce, and we’re determined to find the best solution for you. To set up a time to talk, give us a call at 251-990-3083 or contact our team online.

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