Can I Mediate During My Divorce to Speed Things Up?
This is a situation that comes up often. You and your spouse seemed miles apart on your divorce issues, so you figured the only way to dissolve your marriage was by litigating the case in court. Now you’re held hostage to a crowded court calendar, and you’re wondering if there’s anything you can do to move the process along. Is it worth taking another look at mediation? It certainly is.
Many spouses start out adamant in their positions on alimony, child custody, child support, and the division of property. But after confronting the reality of the court process, they start to have second thoughts about compromising on certain issues.
Imagine you have your first date in court for your preliminary conference. Your attorney has advised you what “preliminary” means, so you shouldn’t expect much to happen. But your adrenaline is pumping and you’re ready to dive into the heart of your arguments. You’re ready to testify! Then, after addressing you and your spouse briefly, the judge sets a date for your compliance conference.
This is bound to leave you wondering when your actual trial starts. Sorry — that won’t begin for another six months.
If you’re feeling upset at this point, there’s a chance your spouse is feeling the same. What are you going to do for the next six months? Your attorneys can meet and confer and try to move the case toward a negotiated resolution, and that process could yield a positive result. But taking the process into your own hands through mediation might be the best choice available.
- Mediation is more immediate — Instead of hearing about progress in negotiations from your attorney, you are in the room, reacting in real time, and making things happen.
- Mediation moves at your own pace — You’re not captive to the court schedule. You can hold as many sessions for as long as you and your spouse want.
- Mediation keeps you in control — Judges can be unpredictable, so any time you go to trial, you risk an adverse ruling. With mediation, you don’t have to agree to any terms you don’t approve.
- You still have access to an attorney — Although you meet with the mediator and your spouse alone, your attorney still prepares you for mediation sessions and reviews any agreement the sessions produce.
Finally, because you’re not occupying hours and hours of your attorney’s time, mediation is much less expensive than going to trial. Mediation is not for everyone, but it is generally worth trying, especially as an end-around to a crowded court calendar.
If you are planning to file for divorce, Solutions Divorce Mediation, Inc. can help you and your spouse reach a cost-effective marital settlement agreement. Call us at 1.631.683.8172 or contact our Long Island office online.