Credit Katie Jarvi, Attorney
Divorce is a really small word for a really big pile of stuff: Emotions. Logistics. Discussions. Paperwork. Arguments. Even if you and your soon-to-be-ex plan on holding hands and frolicking through the process with mutual respect and admiration, it’s still an intimidating undertaking.
And if you’re feeling not-so-frolicky? Or downright acrimonious? Fuggedaboutit. Divorce probably feels overwhelming before the process even starts.
But divorce doesn’t have to be terrifying. It doesn’t even have to wind up in a court battle. At Johnson/Turner Legal, we’ve helped innumerable former spouses—from the frolicky to the acrimonious—achieve lasting peace through mediation.
Mediation is highly encouraged by the courts as a form of alternative dispute resolution wherein a neutral third party guides discussions and helps facilitate an agreement between parties. It can result in a legally binding agreement that can be submitted to a judge to become a final court order.
Here are just a few of the reasons mediation is a great choice for so many people:
- No stare-downs necessary.
Can’t stand to be in the same room with your ex, let alone compromise with them? You don’t have to be in the same place at the same time. The mediator can serve as a go-between.
- Lots of flexibility.
In court, a judge has to follow the letter of the law, which results in very black-and-white settlements focused on equality. Mediation allows for parties to tailor an agreement to their unique family circumstances. Maybe 50/50 simply doesn’t make sense for your family. Maybe Fluffy and Fido really should stay with your ex more since you travel a lot, and maybe you really should get the espresso machine since your ex wouldn’t know good coffee if it hit them in the…(wait, we’re focused on being kind, here).
- Objective guidance and total confidentiality.
Discussions that take place in mediation are confidential, which facilitates open and honest communication. And an experienced mediator can keep things civil and productive, helping you work through sticky subjects and stubbornness.
- You can still have an advocate on your side.
While mediators must remain neutral, you can (and should) have an attorney present for mediation. Since a mediation agreement must be submitted to the court for approval, you’ll likely end up hiring one anyway (unless you really want to draft that agreement yourself—gulp!), so it makes sense to bring someone in early who can help you act in your own best interest and understand the consequences of what you’re agreeing to. A neutral mediator can’t say: “Uh, Pat, you’re really getting the short end of the stick here…” but your attorney can.
- A better chance for lasting success.
When parties engage in mediation, we find that they’re more likely to be satisfied with the outcome over the long term. That’s because they truly had a say in the agreement, as opposed to having the terms imposed upon them by a judge.
- Did we mention that you stay out of court?
As attorneys, we’re very comfortable in court, and we can take that route if it becomes necessary. But we know that a court battle can get ugly, and can be devastating—both financially and emotionally. Mediation allows for a more peaceful, personalized process.
If you’re facing divorce, you’re probably more than ready for some peace in your life. Mediation might be exactly what you need to put you on the path to a better future. Contact Johnson/Turner Legal today to learn more about mediation. Our experienced family law attorneys can serve as mediators or represent you, personally. If you choose one of our lawyers as representation, we can make a recommendation on a neutral mediator. Either way, we’ve got you covered. (Yes, in case it has been a while since you’ve experienced it—this is what genuine loyalty and support feels like. You deserve it.)