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Michigan Family Law Blog

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Should You Mediate Your Divorce?

When we think about divorce, the image of two angry, bickering spouses often comes to mind. The fact of the matter is, many divorcing couples are able to behave in a civil manner and are more interested in moving on than in making each others’ lives a living hell. In those cases, talking with a divorce mediation lawyer makes emotional and financial sense. Think mediation may be an option for you? Keep reading to see when mediation makes sense.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

Divorce mediation is an informal meeting between divorcing spouses, facilitated by a neutral party, for the purpose of creating a marital settlement agreement that can be taken to the judge. Mediation is a way to reduce costs because you and your former spouse are not fighting in court, but rather, are working collaboratively to come to an agreement on things like property division, child custody, spousal support and any other issues that need to be worked out before you go your separate ways.

At the end of a successful divorce mediation, the two of you have worked out a comprehensive marital settlement agreement that can be filed with your divorce documents for a more expedient divorce judgment.

Does My Divorce Qualify For Mediation?

There are certain couples that are in a good space to mediate their divorce and there are others that are not. Some characteristics of couples that may be good candidates for divorce mediation include spouses that have:

  • average to above-average emotional intelligence

  • the ability to maintain a respectful demeanor with the other spouse

  • the capability to compromise

  • a fairly equal power relationship

While these are not hard and fast requirements, they are good indicators of who will make it through divorce mediation successfully. A skilled mediator will be able to guide you through impasses, know when to call a break when emotions get too high, and try to level the playing field if the couples exhibit a power imbalance. In fact, mediators are trained to open up lines of communication that may have been severed long ago in your relationship.

As long as the two of you are able to speak up for what each of you wants, can be flexible and willing to communicate, divorce mediation may be for you.

Will We Still Have To Go To Court?

Once you have a signed marital settlement agreement, you or your attorney will file your divorce documents with the appropriate court. Absent any child custody issues that are specific to your county, you should not have to go to any hearings. The Judge will review your documents to ensure everything is in order and your marital settlement agreement is balanced. An experienced mediator will be able to tell in advance if he or she does not think that a judge would sign off on your marital settlement agreement. If all is well, the Judge will sign off on your divorce and issue a judgment for disillusion of your marriage.

If you are thinking about divorce, talk to divorce mediation lawyer Cameron C. Goulding today at 248.608.4123 to determine your options.


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