I’ve been a trained mediator since 2012. At the beginning of this process, I quickly came to the conclusion that mediating can be difficult work. Even when done right, the process can be as heated as litigation and as someone whose heart starts pounding with anxiety if voices begin to raise, I really had to prepare myself!
I found that I preferred my work as a financial neutral for both parties in a divorce because this is where their best solutions come to the surface. The financial neutral work also led me to the second major conclusion; mediation is by far, the right choice for a couple to negotiate their divorce settlement and litigation is almost never the best option.
My First Hand Experience
Before training as a mediator, my own divorce started as a do-it-yourself divorce. Unfortunately, I made numerous, large errors in the original paperwork because you don’t know what you don’t know.
As so often happens, the cooperative attitude during the process also quickly faded after the divorce was final. We went back to court several times in litigated cases that nearly drained me of both financial and emotional resources.
I now understand that in a litigated divorce, everyone loses. It costs a fortune, takes forever, and decisions are left to a judge who doesn’t know you or your situation and really doesn’t give a darn either. Life-changing decisions are made in a couple of hours and you may or may not get a chance to even explain your side. It’s brutal, demeaning, adversarial, and ultimately largely disappointing.
A Better Way To Divorce
After having participated in this process for 9 years now, I strongly encourage clients to try mediation. It promotes understanding, outcomes that work for everyone, and removes the limitations that might otherwise be imposed by overly restrictive laws. A mediated divorce settlement has the opportunity to be whatever can work for the parties and their children for everyone’s best interests. It saves literally tens of thousands of dollars in costs and preserves relationship that often must extend past the divorce. The inherently adversarial nature of a litigated divorce often destroys any respect the parties had for each other by the time the decree is finalized.
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Divorce With Respectful Mediation
If you’re considering divorce, make every effort possible to attempt mediation to work out the details. At Smarter Divorce Solutions our Mediation Plus process includes a financial neutral like me to ensure full understanding of your finances for both of you and a mediator to guide the process. A good mediator will always recommend that you have any documents reviewed by an attorney before filing and you should absolutely take that advice!
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