By: Koleilat Law
Share This Post
Divorce Court Vs. Mediation
Many assume that the only path to take when it comes to divorce is to go to court to divide property and handle matters such as alimony or child custody. Little do they know there are different paths they can take that don’t always lead to the courtroom. This isn’t to say the courtroom can be avoided each time. For some couples, the path of mediation, where a neutral mediator helps the two sides come to a mutual agreement on the terms of the divorce, is the right path to go. For others, an agreement cannot be easily made and the case goes to the divorce court.
So which is the better choice for your particular situation? That all depends on how the two sides of the divorce correspond with each other both in a legal professional setting, and in private. Hopefully your divorce can be done quick and easy. Some court mediations only need a single meeting to come to an agreement. Others may take several, while a few could end up in court. To avoid taking the wrong road, below are some tips on deciding if your divorce can be settled in mediation or if it should go straight to the courtroom.
When Mediation will Work: The most simple answer to when mediation is best for your situation is when both parties can easily agree on terms, or have already spoken about how the property will be divided and support given. Mediation usually works best because it is simpler, quicker, and overall cheaper then going to court. It is also advised when children are involved. Mediation sessions are less confusing than both parents facing each other in court. It only works though, when both parties are on equal standing. If one side of the divorce has any form of addiction, or history of abuse, a mediation may not be the best option. Drugs or alcohol addiction can lead to poor judgement in any decision, legal or otherwise. A relationship in which abuse occurs, rather it is physical or emotional, can cause one party to feel submissive to the other. If a wife lives in fear of her former husband, she may be more easily persuaded to agree to his terms, regardless of how she feels about them.
When Court Works Best: If both sides of the divorce tend to not get along, rather it be in general or due to the cause of the separation, then mediation may not work. For example, if one side was unfaithful to the other, both parties will tend to hold more anger toward each other, meaning the proceedings will lean more toward conflict then they would peaceful negotiations. If both parties come to mediation when they are both at odds with each other, chances are the mediation will fall through and the divorce will go to court anyways. By having a lawyer analyses your situation, you can avoid this and take the case straight to court. As we stated above, mediation is also not good for any couple faced with addiction or abuse. Where someone who has faced abuse may tend to be more submissive in mediation, in court, they will have an experienced divorce attorney to defend them.
Regardless of the path that you decide to follow, Koleilat & Miller are available to help. Lauren Koleilat is experienced in Family Law and Divorce proceedings, including acting as a mediator. Stop making things harder on yourself and contact us today. We will review your case and help you to determine the best path to take.