Once you have come to terms with your decision to get divorced from your partner, you must then decide if a divorce mediation vs lawyer is the correct approach. Many do not even realize there are options and begin the long and arduous path with a divorce lawyer. There actually are circumstances which make one a better choice for you than the other; it is not a one-size fits all situation.
Choosing a Lawyer
If you and your partner are fighting and you feel you are incapable of having any type of productive communication with him or her, you may have no choice other than to work with a lawyer. If there is any type of domestic abuse involved, mediation is not appropriate. The choice to collaborate with a lawyer puts you both on different paths, each working with someone who will represent your best interests. The process tends to take longer and get uglier when there is no compromise.
Unfortunately, the situation tends to become more stressful and expensive the longer it takes to agree on any points of contention. Finance and custody of children are usually the most difficult to work through.
If the couple does come to an agreement, they can settle out of court, but the process can still take years and tens of thousands of dollars to complete.
Costs are significantly amplified If the case goes to trial. If the couple is not well-off, they may very well end up sacrificing a substantial portion of the equity of their home to cover the costs, if not amassing large bills that will take them years to pay down.
Choosing Divorce Mediation
Opting for divorce mediation vs lawyer litigation is a smart choice for couples who are on speaking terms for many reasons. Once lawyers intervene, a hostile situation tends to become more hostile. A lawyer’s goal is not to make the two of you get along; it is to fight for the things you want and win as many of the contentions as possible.
Mediation aims to guide the two of you to a written agreement that begins with the points you can agree upon. You might come to divorce mediation with a list in hand, only needing to iron out a few particulars. Or you might still need to sort out some of the issues and those can be addressed through the counseling offered through the mediation process. Mediation entails meeting several times with a divorce mediator following a schedule to review various parts of the agreement. Once you have completed this process, you will only require an attorney to review the agreement.
There are several benefits to working with a divorce mediator vs lawyer:
- Speed up the divorce process
- Save thousands of dollars
- Reduce your stress
- Reduce the effect on children
- Maintain a healthier relationship with your ex following the divorce
- Move on with your life sooner
So, if you are currently contemplating divorce mediation vs lawyer litigation, you can begin by making a list of the things you want and have a conversion with your partner about them. If you can have a civil conversation and agree on some points, it is worth your while to seek the advice of a mediator.