Securing a divorce is often a protracted and expensive process. Chances are good that you and your spouse may not agree on the terms of your separation and divorce. Issues like the division of assets and debts, as well as the custody arrangements and parenting plan for any minor children, can result in a protracted court battle between spouses. However, if you and your spouse could potentially come to terms without a judge making those decisions for you, mediation could be an option.
Mediation in a divorce involves working with your own attorney, your spouse, his or her attorney and a neutral third party to set the terms for the major issues in your divorce. While the Washington courts will still need to review and approve the terms of your divorce, mediation can give you more control over the final outcome and may help you turn a contentious divorce into a faster, more affordable uncontested divorce.
Mediation can help you find a workable compromise
If you don't currently agree on the terms of your divorce with your spouse but you believe that finding a mutually agreeable solution is possible, mediation could be the perfect answer. Mediation allows you to focus on the issues and terms that matter the most to you during the divorce. You can compromise in areas that are less important in order to secure particular assets or terms that are critical to you.
Your spouse also has the same authority. The mediator, after hearing both sides of the story and the desired outcome from both parties, can help negotiate terms that work for everyone involved. While neither spouse will get everything he or she wants, both will feel more empowered by the process than in a traditional contested divorce where the judge makes all the important decisions.
Uncontested divorces cost less and move more quickly
There are many benefits to seeking an uncontested divorce. Obviously, since you won't have to testify in front of the judge to determine the outcome of the divorce, it can be much faster than a court-based, contested divorce. This also means that the overall cost of the divorce is much less.
There are other substantial benefits to an uncontested divorce through mediation that people often overlook. A traditional divorce often means having all of your worst experiences and behavior made part of the public record. Any testimony or evidence from your divorce could end up in the wrong hands, resulting in social issues or even professional issues in your career. The records of the mediation process remain private.
Also, a court-based contested divorce can put a lot of strain on your children. Mediation protects them from the worst of the issues that arise during the divorce. If you have minor children, an uncontested divorce can reduce the stress they experience during this change in their lives.