Divorce mediation is a different process from the traditional way of ending a marriage. If you're exploring your options in terms of divorce mediation services, you might want to know a bit about how the process differs. Clients should understand these three distinctions.
Assistance for Both Sides
In a typical divorce, an attorney for one side cannot provide counsel to the other side. The law requires a divorce attorney to provide zealous advocacy for their client and only their client. For example, a wife's lawyer can't advise a husband's lawyer in the more-aggressive process that is the standard. This applies even if the husband has no interest in putting up a fight and just wants to save some money by not hiring his own attorney.
Conversely, divorce mediation services providers are prepared to assist both parties who are exiting a marriage. Typically, this has the benefit of reducing costs. It also means you can be more comfortable asking questions to the mediator because you'll know they're there to help both of you.
Faster and Less Adversarial
America's legal system can be an adversarial one. It's Side A against Side B, and both sides' goal is flat-out beating the other side. Especially when a couple just wants to end things and isn't wanting to debate, removing the adversarial component can be helpful. Divorce mediation allows everyone to sit down together and lay things out straight in terms of dividing assets and debts, assigning custody, providing spousal and child support, and making other decisions.
Notably, there will still be a lawsuit. Someone has to send paperwork to the family court asking for relief. The difference is that mediation allows both sides to agree on a settlement and send the appropriate paperwork to the court. Assuming there aren't any discrepancies, the judge will approve the divorce after the state's waiting period. In other words, you should be able to end things close to the minimum time possible.
Divorce mediation is predominantly a private legal matter. Litigating a divorce can push tons of information into the public record. Particularly for folks who have high public profiles, mediation often is a good way to avoid the pain and embarrassment of a public legal fight. Similarly, it may keep some records of assets and liabilities out of the public sphere. This may have unexpected benefits down the road if you end up in a different legal battle.
For more information, contact a divorce mediation service.