Mediation: Divorce on Your Own Time
For many working individuals, it can be nearly impossible to find time during the business day to do anything related to their personal lives. You are probably familiar with the struggle, as you, for example may have to cram a trip to the bank, the post-office, and your accountant’s office all into your lunch hour. Add in a doctor’s or dentist appointment and forget it; you will probably need to take a day off work. If you are considering a divorce, your scheduling challenges are just beginning, no matter how busy you already may be. Many law firms and, of course, the courts are only available during “normal business hours,” typically between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. With such limitations, how can you be expected to make any progress in your divorce while maintaining a full-time job? Fortunately, divorce mediation may provide a solution.
Mediation in a divorce case can offer a number of possible benefits, including reduced stress, lower costs, and increased compliance with a negotiated settlement compared to a litigated judgment. For many couples, however, the customizable schedule of the mediation process is extremely attractive. To move forward in a litigated divorce, you and your spouse must each meet with your respective attorneys, file your motions with the court, wait for a court date to be determined, then appear to argue your case, all of which takes time and must usually occur during the busiest part of your days.
Conversely, divorce mediation requires you and your spouse to meet with a third-party facilitator at a time and location of your own choosing. Many mediators are more than willing to meet in the evening or on weekends to accommodate the needs of you and your family. Not only does such flexibility add to the cooperative nature of the process, but it can also reduce distractions caused by child concerns and the need to get right back to work.
Mediation Is Not for Everyone
Scheduling concerns are not the only factor that you should consider in choosing mediation for your divorce. You must be willing and able to negotiate and work through the differences you may have with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. If constructive conversation is not possible, or if you fear that your spouse will attempt to manipulate the process, you may need think about litigation, despite the potential inconvenience.
Before making a decision about whether to pursue divorce mediation or not, speak with an experienced Geneva family law attorney. Attorney Douglas B. Warlick has served as a divorce mediator for more than 20 years and he can help you decide if mediation is right for your situation. Call 630-232-9700 to learn more.