While the divorce process itself can become complicated quickly, the process itself does not have to be contentious. In fact, there is a way to streamline the process to take out litigation. This alternative is called mediation.
Essentially, because the divorce process is largely taken out of the court’s hands and litigation is avoided, the mediation process is less combative and expensive. It can also be faster and easier on children.
Does this mean no lawyers?
No. Even private, non-lawyer mediators agree that those going through the mediation process should at least consult an attorney for feedback during the process. This is because, once an agreement is made, it is submitted to the court and made legally binding. This is why most experts encourage those looking to go through divorce mediation to initially contact an attorney first. The attorney can walk one through the mediation process, and throughout the process, that attorney would ensure that one’s best interests are always protected.
What are the benefits to children?
Perhaps the best argument for mediation is that it is much easier on a couple’s children. Since the crux of mediation is collaboration toward a mutually agreeable resolution, unlike litigation, which is generally about winning, emotions throughout the process are often muted. This means that the typical angry emotions that are evoked by the divorce process do not seep into one’s parenting. Indeed, according to some experts, in traditional divorces, it is common for children to need some sort of therapy. This is because, not that divorce itself is traumatic, but the conflict that it can cause very much is traumatic.
Divorce can be a crisis, but it does no need to be traumatic. However, how it plays out is entirely in the hands of those Grand Rapids, Michigan, residents going through the process. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney early in the process.