ou and your spouse have decided to divorce in Michigan, but want to avoid litigating the matter in divorce court. Mediation is an alternative you might consider.
Michigan divorce attorneys often encourage mediation as a cost-effective and time-efficient approach to divorce.
Is mediation right for you? Should you hire a divorce attorney if you are mediating your divorce?
Let's take a closer look at divorce mediation.
What is Mediation?
In divorce mediation, a couple agrees to work cooperatively to dissolve their marriage outside of court. A neutral third party, or mediator, guides the process and generally advises the parties about family law but stops short of giving specific legal advice to either party.
The mediator helps each party understand the other's perspective and concerns, resolving disagreements. When all issues are decided, a marriage settlement agreement is drafted and submitted to the court for final judgment.
Four Advantages to Divorce Mediation vs. Divorce Court
Divorce mediation presents several advantages in contrast to litigation. Four primary benefits include:
- Cost-Effectiveness: save on court expenses, document preparation costs, and high attorney fees by working cooperatively toward a settlement agreement outside of court proceedings.
- Time-Efficient: mediated cases avoid an impacted court calendar, motions, and hearings. The matters are addressed step by step, moving on to a new issue once one is agreed upon. This often results in an agreement being reached quickly, within one to three sessions.
- Confidentiality: mediation is a private settlement process, whereas court proceedings and trials are a matter of public record.
- Control Over the Outcome: couples can create customized solutions for their circumstances rather than leaving matters to a judge's ruling.
Couples with direct input in their marital settlement agreement are less likely to experience deep resentment and bitterness during the divorce process. They seem able to rebuild their lives with less animosity toward one another once the divorce is complete.
Do You Need a Michigan Family Law Attorney During Divorce Mediation?
Mediators assist couples in navigating the divorce settlement process without litigation. They can be instrumental in diffusing tense situations and maintaining the parties' focus on reaching a marriage settlement agreement.
However, a divorce mediator cannot advise either party if the decisions being made are in their best interests.
Retaining a divorce attorney during mediation will ensure that you receive sound legal advice about the short-term and long-term impact of your decisions.
A Michigan divorce attorney working on your behalf will explain your rights under Michigan law as they pertain to your unique circumstances. Acting in your best interest, they will advise if you are giving up valuable rights to which you are entitled and if the marriage settlement agreement is fair and legally sound.
Involving divorce lawyers in the mediation process offers reassurance that neither party was disadvantaged by the compromises made during mediation.
To learn more about divorce mediation or for legal advice about ending your marriage in Michigan, contact our law firm today.