According to data from the Washington State Department of Health, there were 25,788 divorces in the state in 2012 alone, out of an overall population just shy of 6.9 million. This includes 2,496 in Snohomish County.
Many divorcing couples choose to turn to mediation instead of a traditional litigious divorce to facilitate the process. Mediation is often less contentious and may help your marriage come to a more amicable end.
What is divorce mediation?
Often in divorce proceedings, divorcing spouses discuss issues such as spousal support, child support, division of assets and anything else that may come up. If they cannot reach an agreement, the parties must appear in front of a judge who will make a final judgment. This can result in large court costs, as well as attorney fees on both sides.
To avoid this, many couples turn to mediation, a process in which they meet collectively with a neutral third party, referred to as the mediator, who can help both of them work together to come to agreements on the issues.
The Benefits of Mediation
Using a mediator to help settle a divorce has benefits for both parties. Mediation might be the right choice for the following reasons:
- It allows both parties a private divorce away from the courtroom and invisible to the public eye.
- It can save money. Going to court can be very costly because of court costs, legal fees and more. While mediation is not guaranteed to produce a settlement, it does provide the opportunity to settle it before costs start to climb even higher.
- It is flexible, meaning that divorcing spouses have the ability to speak with one another openly about their preferences to reach an agreement on which they both agree.
- The mediator can facilitate an agreement. Although the mediator does not work for one party, cannot give advice to either one and will not decide the final agreement, he or she is trained to keep both spouses on track and aimed at settling the divorce.
Who can benefit from mediation?
Ultimately, in order for mediation to benefit divorcing spouses, both parties must be willing to work together to come to resolutions over any issues of contention. This means that both individuals must be ready to give and take and should be open to ideas formulated by the other side. Mediation doesn’t have to be concluded in one session, but spouses must be on good enough terms to finish the process and come to an agreed-upon settlement.
If you and your spouse are unable to speak to one another without disagreement or conflict, mediation may not be a viable option. You instead may wish to pursue traditional channels of divorce settlement in order to achieve your goals. In this case, a family law attorney can be of help.
Seek Help from an Attorney in Everett
Using the assistance and guidance of a trained mediator can help you progress through a divorce as painlessly as possible. If you need help getting a divorce in Everett, speak with one of the family law attorneys at the Deno Millikan Law Firm, PLLC. We provide assistance, whether your divorce requires mediation, arbitration or litigation. Contact us today.