Couples who are divorcing but do not want a long, drawn-out battle may want to consider mediation. This method helps couples negotiate their own divorce settlement agreement with the help of a neutral third-party. Mediation is beneficial in that it keeps stress and tension to a minimum, it is cost effective and the process is often much shorter than court litigation.
While mediation is not the best choice for every couple, Forbes discusses some ways that a couple can be the most successful in the process. First of all, both spouses must agree they want a divorce, or else mediation will not work. Both spouses must also have respect for the other person. Even when dealing with challenging topics or increased tension, treating the other civilly will go far.
To help keep conversations on track during mediation sessions, it helps if both parties come into negotiations with a shared vision or goal. This may be an equitable split of assets or the best solutions for their children. If a couple is able to communicate and respect each other, mediation is a good choice.
According to the Ohio State Bar Association, the job of a trained mediator is to guide conversations, discuss creative options and offer conflict-resolution solutions. During mediation, the parties will come to agreements on issues such as asset and debt division, child custody and support, parental responsibilities, spousal support and other financial issues.
Mediation works best if both parties prepare for each session. This means gathering all relevant financial documents and considering ahead of time what issues are the most important and in which areas compromise is possible.