When a person decides to get a divorce, they have many following decisions to make. From where they’ll live to what assets they want to fight for and more, choosing divorce is a decision to make many more choices. One important decision to make early on is the decision about how to divorce. When a divorce is contested—which means that parties to the divorce are not in agreement about the terms of the divorce—a couple can choose to litigate or mediate the divorce. Here’s what you should know about divorce mediation, including a few common misconceptions about divorce mediation in Massachusetts—
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Mediation is a process of getting divorced that allows each party to the divorce to present their feelings and opinions, and for the couple to discuss the details of the divorce, behind closed doors, without the intervention of a judge or a court, and with a neutral, third-party mediator who is facilitating the conversation.
Common Myths and Misconceptions About Divorce Mediation
If you’re thinking about divorce mediation, you may be unsure of the specifics or may have even heard some rumors or misconceptions that may sour your opinion of the process. Consider these commons myths and misconceptions about divorce mediation and the true facts:
- A mediator has the power to impact the outcome of your divorce case. Many people incorrectly think that the outcome of the divorce case will depend on the opinion of the mediator, or that the mediator has the power to influence the outcome or “choose” one spouse over the other. This is not true. A mediator has no say in the final outcome and is only there to facilitate and guide the conversation, not make any decisions.
- Divorce mediation is more expensive than divorce litigation. This could not be more inaccurate! Indeed, divorce mediation is often much less expensive than litigating a divorce, in large part because the case is settled more quickly and avoids the heavy lawyers’ fees that are associated with litigation.
- There’s no need for lawyers during mediation. While working with an attorney is not required during mediation, for those who want to have legal representation, doing so is perfectly appropriate.
- Mediation delays the process. If you’re looking for a quick divorce, you may be worried that mediation will stall your divorce settlement. However, this is not true; in fact, mediating your divorce may be the quickest option for settling your divorce because, if you and your spouse can reach an agreement outside of the courtroom, you’ll avoid time-intensive litigation.
- Your chances of getting what you want are betting through litigation. Many people think, “Once the judge hears what my spouse did, they’ll for sure side with me and grant me what I want.” Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work this way. A judge is responsible for dividing property in a way that’s equitable, regardless of marital fault. Your chances of getting what you want may actually be better if you negotiate and compromise with your spouse through mediation.
Work with a Qualified Divorce Mediator and Lawyer Today
If you have more questions about divorce mediation, you can get started by calling our qualified family law attorney at the Law Office of Heather M. Ward. Reach Attorney Heather Ward today by phone at (617) 903-8955 or reach us online.