Even if you see it coming, going through a divorce can be a painful and costly process. This can be further complicated when children are part of the process. Assets are monetary resources that can be calculated in dollars and cents, but children are living beings with emotions and needs to be considered. When facing an upcoming divorce, many people have opted for a less fraught and less expensive process – divorce mediation. Mediation can save you from going to court to settle child custody and other divorce-related matters. So, what exactly is mediation?
Child Custody Mediation
When the parties to a divorce choose mediation, they agree to utilize a neutral third party to assist them in resolving individual issues and help them to reach a mutually agreed upon divorce settlement. Thousands of divorcing couples throughout the country have utilized the mediation process and have found it to be not just less expensive, but also quicker in resolving issues and reaching a final divorce agreement. Before getting more into detail about the advantages presented through the use of mediation in divorce, you might want to consider how court proceedings can impact child custody.
Going Through A Divorce
The divorce process itself begins when one of the parties makes the difficult decision to retain the services of a lawyer and file for divorce. The next big decision to make is choosing between a divorce attorney, in the typical courtroom procedure, or the divorce mediation route with a divorce mediation lawyer.
Using the adversarial divorce route, each party to the divorce retains the services of an attorney who works for them alone and advocates on their behalf. After each side has retained counsel, the lawyers get together and negotiate issues on behalf of their client. This traditional adversarial process usually involves frequent attorney meetings and court appearances, often stressful and combative in nature. If the lawyers are unable to reach an agreement on the issues, the next step will be going to court to resolve the differences.
Fighting for Custody in Court
When the divorce case arrives in the courtroom, each party’s attorney will argue the merits of their client’s case in open court. There is no privacy in the normal courtroom setting. Under the traditional adversarial divorce process, either party is allowed to call witnesses to support their assertions. When there are children in the marriage, they could be called by either side to testify in open court.
After both sides have concluded presenting their case, the judge presiding over the court will make the final decision on all issues related to the final divorce, including child custody, child support, and division of assets. This adversarial divorce process can be very messy and painful for both parties and the children. In the end, it will also turn out to be both time consuming and expensive. Now, let’s look at an alternative approach, known as child custody mediation.
Child Custody Lawyer
When children are involved, you may prefer a gentler alternative to fighting it out in an open courtroom. This more modern approach is called divorce mediation or family law mediation. When the mediation process is solely focused on child custody issues, it is referred to as child custody mediation. Parties who choose to utilize the medication process retain the services of a trained divorce mediation lawyer.
The trained divorce mediation lawyer represents both parties and works with them throughout the entire process. This process offers several advantages to the traditional, adversarial process. One initial benefit comes from the fact that you are retaining the services of only one lawyer, not two. This is good news for both parties to the divorce as this means legal costs are greatly reduced. By having only one attorney involved, both parties have greater control over the whole process, from start to finish. The divorce mediation lawyer owes a duty to both parties and can assist them in reaching a mutually agreed upon settlement. Utilizing this process, the parties avoid costly courtroom proceedings. If you are facing a divorce in your future, consider talking to one of the divorce mediation lawyer experts at the Shapiro Mediation today.
Use of the traditional adversarial process means numerous trips to the courtroom, accompanied by multiple confrontations and the stress that goes along with them. Reduced stress for you means less stress on your family, including your children. Further, the adversarial process is a prolonged one, meaning more billable hours for two attorneys. Couples that choose to utilize the child custody mediation process will see a quicker resolution of their issues with less billable hours. This is due to retaining only one lawyer. The family law mediation lawyer is an active part of the negotiations between the parties, helping them reach common ground on complex issues involving child custody, monetary payments for child support and/or alimony, and the division of financial assets and liabilities. The final agreement is one affirmed by both parties.
Child Custody Cases
Perhaps the most important issue to consider when deciding on what process to utilize to resolve your child custody case is what is best for your children. The mediation process is private and confidential. This means issues involving custody and visitation are discussed privately, not in an open courtroom. Your children will not have to appear in a public courtroom or testify in public for either parent. In this way, the children are not exposed to the adversarial process and the anger and hostility that can often break out in open court.
Not being exposed to such situations and the resulting memories may help the children adjust better after the divorce. Finally, under the traditional adversarial divorce process, the final ruling comes from the judge in the courtroom. The judge’s final ruling is mainly based upon the arguments he heard from the lawyers for both parties. When the divorce mediation process is utilized, neither party can claim surprise with the final settlement as both parties to the divorce have agreed to it.
Here for Your Custody Decisions
You can reduce the time, costs, and stress associated with custody decisions by choosing divorce mediation over the traditional adversarial approach. The mediation process is more efficient and is confidential. The process usually takes place in a private conference room and the parties to the dispute, and the impartial mediator are the only ones present. If you are facing a divorce, Shapiro Mediation can help. Let one of our expert divorce mediation lawyers assist you throughout the entire mediation process. We will work tirelessly for a positive outcome agreed upon by both parties. Contact Shapiro Mediation today for a free consultation at (339) 298-7733.