Facing the ending of your marriage is never easy. Even if you are parting on relatively amicable terms, you still have to make a series of important decisions that will shape the next chapter of your life. When many people picture the divorce process, they may think of a tense and formal courtroom battle where the judge issues a final ruling. But in most divorces, the court encourages the parties to work with a neutral party – a mediator or a trained evaluator – to try to craft an agreement together. Judges know that you understand your life better than they ever can, and so want to give you the power and opportunity to decide the issues in your divorce for yourself.
The Divorce Mediation Process
Mediation allows the divorcing couple to meet with a specially-trained, neutral third party to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Unlike a judge, the mediator does not take sides or determine who is right (or wrong. Instead, the mediator uses questions (and the occasional suggestion) to encourage the parties to communicate openly and honestly about the terms of their divorce, such as property division, child custody arrangements, spousal support, and more. A mediator will give you each the opportunity to explain what you think should happen and why, and will ask you both questions designed to explore what is most important to each of you and how those underlying interests might be best served. With that information and understanding, you are in a better position to move toward an equitable settlement that allows both parties to walk away from the marriage with the solid foundation they need to move into the next chapter.
A Less Formal, More Collaborative Option
Many people find the prospect of going to court intimidating or stressful. In contrast, the more informal nature of mediation encourages the parties to relax a bit more and engage in difficult conversations. While the discussion may get tense and difficult at times, mediation works best if you both agree to participate in the process with an open mind and a willingness to listen. As disagreements arise, the mediator will use strategies to help you resolve the issue and move the conversation forward.
Empowering You to Achieve Your Divorce Goals
Those who reach agreements through mediation often report feeling empowered by the process. The active nature of mediation allows both parties to take control of their futures as they lay the groundwork for their post-divorce lives. Additionally, mediation relies on open, honest, and productive communication, so many divorcing couples that participate in mediation find that they can continue using these skills after the divorce is finalized. Although mediation may not work best for every divorce, it offers many couples the opportunity to achieve their divorce goals.
Learn more about the mediation process in Minnesota and St. Paul by calling Rubric Legal LLC today at (612) 465-0074.