Going through a divorce is never easy, but things can be especially complicated when there are disputes or disagreements about how the divorce will be handled. Unfortunately, this is extremely common in Missouri divorce cases. Spouses often disagree on things like child custody, what to do with the marital home, alimony payments, and other legal aspects of the separation. When an agreement cannot be easily reached, Girardeau family law mediation services are often the best course of action.
If you’re in the middle of a divorce and having a hard time reaching an agreement with the other party, it may be time to try mediation. This can be a great way to find a middle ground without having to leave important decisions up to the court’s discretion. This, in turn, can make the entire process go more smoothly and result in less stress for everybody involved.
What is Mediation, Anyway?
Specifically, mediation in divorce refers to a process where spouses meet with a neutral third party to reach an agreement on specific topics related to the separation. This can include anything from how much spousal support a person will pay to what kind of custody agreement will be worked out. Some other common family law topics covered in Girardeau mediation often include:
- Division of marital assets (such as the family home).
- Child support payments.
- Insurance coverage.
- Retirement benefits.
During mediation, an experienced third party will work with everybody’s best interests in mind. This includes not just you and your divorcing spouse but any children or other family members who may be involved as well. As you and your divorcing spouse begin to come to an agreement on certain aspects of the divorce, your mediator will draw up an agreement (known as a Memorandum of Understanding) that documents everything you’ve agreed upon.
The terms of this document can then be incorporated into a divorce decree, making them legally binding in the state of Missouri.
Benefits of Mediation in Girardeau Family Law Disputes
There are many benefits of working with a mediator, especially in Girardeau family law disputes. For starters, mediation can help both parties reach an agreement with minimal stress and conflict. When divorcing parties can’t agree on child custody, child support, and other family law matters, this can create a great deal of conflict not just between the parents/guardians but the children as well. By working out the details with a neutral third party, parents can protect their children from this often-ugly side of the divorce process.
Likewise, mediation can be a great way to avoid going to court over a Girardeau family law dispute. When an agreement cannot be reached between both parties, the last resort is to take the matter to court and let the judge decide. Unfortunately, this can be stressful not just for the divorcing spouses but also for the children. This is especially true if a child is required to speak in court. By working with a mediator, you can save yourselves and possibly your children the trauma of having to go to court. In many ways, you’ll be putting your children first—which is always the most important thing in a divorce case.
Consider, too, that working with a mediator can save divorcing spouses a great deal of time and money. In most cases, mediation can resolve disagreements and disputes in as little as a few weeks or a few months. On the other hand, it’s not uncommon for the court system to take years to hear a case/dispute in a family law manner. In the meantime, you’ll be stuck handling your separation in the best way you can without any legal decree. This can create additional problems and stress, so why drag it out if you don’t have to?
Last but not least, the agreements reached in mediation tend to last longer and have better outcomes than those decided by the courts. That’s because the agreement that you reach through mediation is one that you and your divorcing spouse decide upon together. Both parties can feel like their needs are being met, and their concerns are being listened to. The result is that both parties are satisfied with the agreement and are more likely to follow its terms. Unfortunately, the same cannot always be said when the court decides on the outcome of a family law dispute, and one party feels slighted.
What to Expect From Mediation in Your Girardeau Family Law Dispute
As you can see, there are plenty of benefits to using mediation to settle a Girardeau family law dispute between you and your divorcing spouse. Most importantly, mediation helps reduce conflict and stress while ensuring both sides are heard. This also means less stress for any children involved, which is so important in any divorce. Meanwhile, mediation ultimately saves money while cutting down on the amount of time required to complete the divorce and move on with your life.
If you’re interested in mediation to settle a Girardeau family law dispute, the most important thing is to make sure that your divorcing spouse is also on-board. From there, you can work together to find a third-party mediator or get one appointed to you directly by the court.
From there, you’ll schedule your first mediation appointment, where you’ll discuss the disputes that are ongoing and create a game plan to tackle them. You can prepare for this appointment by considering the biggest disputes between you and your divorcing spouse and your ideal outcomes for each. Your divorcing spouse will do the same, and your mediator will carefully listen to both sides to present some potential options for a “middle ground.”
It is not uncommon for divorce mediation to take several sessions spaced out over the course of weeks or even months. With this in mind, you shouldn’t expect all your Girardeau family law disputes to be resolved during your first meeting. However, you should notice that you’re making significant progress toward a resolution at each mediation appointment. The key is to remain patient and open-minded.
How an Experienced Girardeau Divorce Lawyer Can Help
In addition to seeking help from an experienced mediator, it’ll also be a good idea to have a Girardeau divorce attorney on your side. Whether your divorce is completely amicable or heavy with conflict, a divorce lawyer will be able to guide you through the process and represent your best interests every step of the way. Your lawyer can also attend mediation meetings with you, making sure that your rights are being protected in any agreement that you decide. In some cases, a divorce lawyer may even be able to recommend a specific mediator to suit your needs.
No matter what kind of divorce you’re going through or what kinds of Girardeau family law disputes you’re facing, you’ll want to have legal representation during this difficult time. From there, you can better understand your rights and get the support you need throughout the mediation process and beyond.