Hoping to avoid a contentious divorce? Consider mediation

We read plenty of stories about divorces that pit one spouse against the other; divorces that are taken over by disparaging accusations, refusals to compromise and attempts to punish an ex.

Even though these types of divorce may not be uncommon, they aren’t inevitable. In fact, there are many examples of divorcing couples who are able to avoid the contentiousness of the situation by staying focused on resolving the issues at hand and prioritizing peacefulness over anger.

There are many different aspects of a divorce that can benefit from collaboration and cooperation. Figuring out child custody arrangements and dividing property are two such aspects. People who are able to work through these matters themselves can save a lot of money, time and energy by avoiding the courtroom and they often reach a more agreeable decision than if the decisions were handled by a judge.

This cooperative approach seems be to favored by actress Jennifer Garner and actor Ben Affleck who recently announced they were divorcing after 10 years of marriage.

Reports indicate that the pair is pursuing mediation as a means of resolving issues including the division of assets. They are also planning to continue living on the same property as a way to stay focused on raising their three children together.

This may be a very good example of why people may want to explore their options for collaboration and mediation. Even though the couple is in the public eye and dealing with considerable assets, they are evidently committed to avoiding drama and protecting their family.

Anyone who is put off by the potential battles that can arise during divorce may want to strongly consider discussing alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation with their attorney.

Source: Business Standard, “Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner in no rush to file divorce?” July 28, 2015

Difficult divorces don’t have to destroy your family

There is no doubt that divorce can be extraordinarily challenging largely because people are struggling with feelings of sadness, anger, betrayal, disappointment and fear in light of the decision to divorce. While this is certainly understandable and natural, you don’t have to let these emotions take control of the situation.

Collaboration can be a big part of divorce for those who wish to pursue a more amicable route to ending a marriage. This can be beneficial not only to divorcing spouses but also to the children they share. If you are going through a divorce and are worried about the prospect of losing or disrupting your family during this time, it can be wise to keep in a mind a few ways that this can be avoided.

To begin with, you should understand that courts and public policy in Florida favor child custody arrangements in which both parents have “frequent and continuing contact” with the children. This means that in most cases, neither parent will lose all custody rights or be barred from being with his or her child. 

Similarly, while child support will be ordered in many cases, the amount will not be so high that a parent cannot afford it. Several factors will be taken into consideration in order to calculate a fair payment plan. Like child custody arrangements, many support orders prioritize solutions that are in the best interests of the child.

Further, the trend toward collaboration and mediation in divorce can be of considerable relief to people seeking a more peaceful resolution. There are numerous resources in place to help spouses solve family legal matters outside of court. By cooperating instead of battling, divorcing spouses can have more control over what happens and the children won’t have to be at the center of or witness to ugly and contentious fights between parents.

Too often, divorce is presented as an all-out battle. People fight over every dollar, every unpleasant allegation and every minute of time spent with a child. However, with the help of an attorney and a clear understanding of your options and goals in regards to collaboration, you can pursue resolutions that are agreeable in a more harmonious manner.