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The Differences Between Mediation and Traditional Divorce

Posted by Sunshine, Isaacson & Hecht LLP on December 7th, 2020

Going through a divorce is not only an emotionally difficult process, but it can also be confusing for many people. Unlike on television, the divorce process is not just getting in front of a judge and trying to convince them that you deserve everything you want in the divorce. In fact, many divorces never even require that the two parties battle it out in the courtroom. For most couples who are getting a divorce, many, if not all, decisions can be agreed upon before ever going to court. This is often done using a process known as mediation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is when the divorcing parties come together with a neutral third party. This third party may be an attorney but will not be representing either party specifically. Instead, the mediator’s goal is to help facilitate the discussion so that the two parties can come to fair agreements and compromises regarding things like division of assets, child custody, child support, and more. Since the mediator will be experienced with how the divorce process works, they can provide advice and insights on how the courts will likely handle things, which can help to push both parties toward agreements.

What is Traditional Divorce?

In what is considered a traditional divorce, each party will file with the courts letting them know what they want from the divorce. In addition to the dissolution of the marriage, this would include contentious things like who gets what assets. The courts will then review the documents and hear arguments from each party. Once done, the judge will decide the outcomes and the two parties will have to obey their order.

Mediation vs Traditional Divorce?

One common misconception about mediation is that you will either use mediation or go through the traditional divorce process. In many cases, both of these methods can be used to help minimize conflict and reduce costs. For example, if the two parties can come together through mediation and agree on who will get the house, what type of child custody arrangement they want, and how child support should go, the courts will almost always accept these agreements. The parties can then use the traditional divorce process to resolve any remaining conflicts that they cannot agree on. This could include things like who gets a vacation home, how to split retirement accounts, what to do with a jointly owned business, and more.

Effective Mediation and Divorce Solutions

If you are going through a divorce and would like to use mediation, make sure you work with someone who is experienced in these types of services. Here at Sunshine Isaacson & Hecht, we have worked with many couples to come up with a divorce agreement that everyone is happy with. This can save you a huge amount of time and money while still providing you with great results. If you believe that mediation will not be effective in your case, we can also represent you effectively through a traditional divorce. Whether you know which option you need, or you want to discuss your situation and get our advice, please contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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