Is Mediation Right for Me?
If you are thinking about a divorce, or have already started one, it is important to consider your options and choose the right path for you. Unfortunately, many divorcing couples fail to recognize the benefits of mediation or don’t understand the process.
Mediation can save you money. Divorce litigation is an expensive, stressful, and a time-consuming process. Mediation, on the other hand, is less costly because the fees are divided between you and your spouse. Since both of you are financially invested in the process, both of you have an incentive to reach a resolution.
Any time a divorce action is filed with the Court, litigation has started. During litigation, sensitive information is presented to the Court as part of the public record. In Wisconsin, we have online circuit court access (CCAP) which provides the public with all Orders entered by the Court at each hearing.
When you mediate a divorce, all information that is discussed and all offers presented remain confidential to the public and the Court. This allows you to openly discuss your issues and present offers of settlement.
Minimize the Emotional Impact of a Divorce
One of the most overlooked benefits of mediation (and overlooked aspects of divorce) is protecting your mental health. A prolonged, litigated divorce is not just expensive, but emotionally taxing.
Heavily litigated divorces can bring out the worst in couples, even if they were fairly amicable before starting the divorce process. In some cases, litigation brings up bad memories, exaggerated accusations, or desperate attempts to “win” in Court.
Mediation reduces the emotional toll in a divorce because cases are typically resolved quickly and there is no incentive to “win.” The mediator does not make the decision. Instead, a mediator calmly facilitates communication and understanding between you and spouse.
Mediation is more likely to result in a long-lasting agreement. If a divorce is litigated, a Judge decides the outcome of your case based on how the law applies to the evidence and testimony presented. A trial is helpful in contested matters, but it often leaves you feeling confused, upset, and unsatisfied because your “day in Court” did not go as planned. Unfortunately, the Rules of Evidence can limit the information presented to the Court, so you may feel that you did not get to say or present everything that you wanted. Further, the Orders entered by the Court are generally vague and don’t plan for situations that may arise in the future, which leads to more litigation.
Mediation allows you and your spouse to discuss all issues and evidence that you believe is relevant to your divorce. You are able to air your grievances and state your wants and needs to move forward as a divorced couple. A mediated agreement can be as specific as you need, and it allows you to plan for future issues that are likely to arise.
The next step you should take is to reach out to Attorney Heather L. Nelson to see if mediation is right for you. Attorney Nelson will listen carefully to your unique case and identify your best options. Schedule a free consultation with her today.