Married couples in Michigan who decide to divorce must make a lot of tough choices about issues like such as child custody, child support, alimony and property distribution. Many divorcing spouses believe that the process will be highly contentious, requiring expensive court battles. However, it does not have to be this way. Divorce mediation is an effective and affordable way to resolve conflicts and reach favorable agreements.
Divorce mediation explained
Unlike traditional divorce litigation, divorce mediation is an informal process where couples work with a neutral third-party mediator to help them work through their differences and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution. Each party may have his or her legal counsel present during these negotiations, but the mediator has no authority to make any decisions on behalf of either party. The process usually only lasts a few hours and can save considerable time and money in the long run.
Although mediation is usually preferable to divorce litigation and is often required by the courts, some cases do not require mediation. In situations that involve domestic violence or abuse, substance abuse, mental illness, or some other serious matter, parties typically do not have to go through the mediation process. Many times, a pre-mediation screening process is used to determine whether parties can use mediation to help them create settlement agreements.
A peaceful divorce
Although many divorcing couples have a hard time communicating with each other, which may have precipitated their divorce in the first place, the mediation process is efficient and cost-effective compared to traditional litigation. Furthermore, the divorcing parties have more control with regard to child custody and support, property division, spousal support and other related matters. The court will typically approve a settlement agreement reached during mediation, and divorcing parties in Michigan will want to have an experienced family law attorney with them throughout the process.