Michigan is one of many states that allows divorcing couples to avoid litigation by going through mediation to have their divorce finalized. Many couples choose mediation because it has so many benefits over lengthy courtroom battles. However, mediation is not suitable for everyone. If you or your spouse cannot compromise and are far apart on the terms of the divorce, mediation will likely not work. On the other hand, couples that are close to an agreement and just need help to resolve a few disputes may find mediation helpful.
What is Mediation?
During mediation, each party meets with a mediator to try and settle the disputes involved in their case. Mediators do not provide legal advice but instead, try to facilitate compromise so the couple can come to an agreement. If the couple can reach an agreement during mediation, the mediator will draft an agreement and file it with the court. If the couple cannot agree, they will have to move to litigation and let a judge determine the terms of their divorce.
Benefits of Mediation
The main benefit of mediation, and the reason so many couples choose to enter into it, is that it is much cheaper than litigation. During litigation, each spouse will have to pay court costs and attorney fees, as well as other expenses related to the case. Although there is some cost associated with mediation, it is not as significant as litigation.
Mediation also greatly shortens the divorce process. While litigation can take months, or sometimes even years, mediation can take just a couple of weeks. In some cases, mediation can take just one day.
The proceedings for mediation are also much less stressful than litigation. This not only makes for an easier divorce but also a more amicable relationship between the two spouses post-divorce. This is due to the fact that there was no bitter court battle and is especially beneficial when children are involved.
Lastly, going through mediation allows the couple to retain control over the terms of the divorce. When a divorce enters litigation, a judge will determine the final terms.
Drawbacks of Mediation
There are more benefits to mediation than there are drawbacks. However, there are some cases that are not right for mediation. One of these involves when one spouse is hiding assets, as there is no discovery phase that can bring those assets to light. Another situation in which mediation will not work is when one spouse has great power over the other one, such as cases that involve domestic violence.
Want to Learn More About Your Divorce Options? Call Our Michigan Divorce Attorneys
If you are considering a divorce, you should not go through it alone. At Iafrate & Salassa, PC, we are the Bloomfield divorce attorneys that will fully explain all your options to you and advise on which is best for your case. We will work as your advocate throughout the entire proceedings and make the entire process as easy as possible for you. Call us today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.