Misconceptions and Benefits of Family Law Mediation
At some point in most contested divorces, one or both spouses consider using mediation as a way to resolve conflicts over parenting arrangements, alimony, property division and other issues. Often, courts require the spouse to go through at least one round of discussions with a neutral third party before litigation can begin. Though many divorcing husbands and wives grasp the benefits of mediation, certain myths prevent other couples from committing to this alternative dispute resolution process.
Numerous misconceptions about divorce mediation can be debunked with some information from a knowledgeable source, including these three myths:
- It’s only for “amicable” divorces — Mediation is a way to resolve disputes that exist when a marriage ends regardless of how angry the spouses might be at each other. Instead of making things worse by battling over witnesses, evidence and other courtroom concerns, the parties can appear before a mediator who is trained to help them put negative personal feelings aside and concentrate on the matters at hand. In most cases, spouses emerge with a resolution they can live with, even if they still don’t like each other.
- It might drag on forever — Even when someone understands the benefits of mediation, a divorcing husband or wife might be persuaded that litigation is the better path toward a clear and final decision. Though mediation has a more flexible structure, a qualified third party will keep everyone focused on moving the discussions forward and reaching a mutually acceptable conclusion. Usually, the timeframe will be much shorter than parties experience when they go to court.
- I might be bullied into an unfair result — You are not forced to stand alone in mediation. The parties have attorneys asserting their rights and speaking up for their interests during the proceedings. You are not powerless at any phase of the mediation process and nothing is determined without your approval. By contrast, when you leave decisions on custody, alimony and other matters up to a judge, you have little recourse when an order fails to grasp key aspects of the situation.
At Solutions Divorce Mediation in Melville, we provide personalized guidance to Long Island residents and other New Yorkers regarding the benefits of mediation for couples who have decided to end their marriage. To learn about how mediation can work for your specific situation, please call 1.631.683.8172 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.