On behalf of Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C. posted in divorce on Thursday, September 21, 2017.
Couples in Michigan who are going through a divorce may want to consider mediation if they are respectful of each other. This process, while not for everyone, is a way for both parties to discuss what they want in front of a neutral party who can help them come up with a plan that is satisfactory to both.
According to the Family Mediation Council, mediation works best when it is started early on in the divorce or separation proceedings. At this point, both parties seem to be more open to working together and coming to a fair agreement, before any time or money is spent hashing it out with lawyers. During the process, a mediator sits down with the couple and talks about important issues such as finances, child custody, property division, alimony support and other asset allocation. During the course of the sessions, the couple may choose to involve professional experts, such as accountants, real estate experts or child development professionals, to help with bigger decisions. Lawyers may also be involved, although mediation does not require their participation for a successful outcome.
According to the Collaborative Practice Institute, there are a number of advantages to using mediation as opposed to going through the court system. Some of these include:
Lower cost, especially if attorneys are not used
The couple is in control of making decisions
The process and decisions are confidential
It fosters a cooperative environment
Conflict and stress are greatly reduced
One of the disadvantages is that the mediator cannot provide personal advice because of neutrality. Also, if one of the parties is more forceful or authoritarian, the other party may not get exactly what they want in the process. In this case, the use of lawyers may be beneficial.