The media often depicts divorces as contentious, involving heated arguments that tear families apart. In reality, this is not always the case. In fact, many divorces are quite amicable, and both parties act with dignity.
It can be difficult to determine which way your divorce process will go. Some couples enter divorce feeling unified and open to communication but ultimately have difficulty with all the details. Others feel combative at first but end up unifying around a common goal.
If you and your spouse are open to communication and collaboration during the divorce process, mediation may be an option for you. Although this choice is not right for all couples, it is worth exploring if your goal is to make your divorce as painless as possible.
Mediation vs. Litigation
When most people think of divorce, they think of litigation. During a litigation divorce, each spouse hires their own attorney to represent their needs. The attorneys negotiate with one another, which prevents the spouses from having to speak with one another or make their own decisions. If the attorneys are unable to come to agreements on key issues, the divorce will go to court. A judge will then decide what should be done.
Mediation is quite different. In a mediation divorce, there is one attorney. They are a third party who mediates between the two spouses. The attorney is present to facilitate the conversation, keep it on track, and ensure that any decisions are legal and fair. It is up to the spouses to negotiate with one another to determine the terms of their divorce. In mediation, spouses interact a significant amount and must work together to create a compromise that works for both.
Is Mediation Right for Me?
Mediation is not possible in all situations. It can be difficult to determine whether yours makes you a good candidate for this option. Our team is committed to helping couples navigate divorce, no matter what format they choose.
The first consideration you should make when considering mediation is whether you and your partner can communicate effectively. Communication and compromise are key to the mediation process. If you commonly argue, or have a difficult time being around one another, mediation is unlikely to be effective in your situation.
Reasons for Divorce
Mediation is not a time to air your grievances with your spouse. In fact, Missouri is a no-fault state for divorce, so you do not need a specific reason to get divorced. You also do not have a set waiting period before you can file. Therefore, it is unproductive to use your reason for divorce as part of your negotiations in mediation.
If you are divorcing your spouse for a potentially combative reason, such as adultery, it may be difficult to keep the divorce cause out of the negotiations. If this is true, mediation is not for you.
One of the key benefits of mediation is the money that it saves. Rather than hiring two attorneys, you only need to hire one. The process is often much faster as well, as your attorneys do not have to take the time to relay information back and forth between you and your spouse. Mediation allows you to be productive in your direct negotiations with your spouse.
Finances should not be your only reason for choosing mediation. If you are simply trying to save money, but do not have the communication skills to execute the mediation process, you will end up spending more in the long run.
Some divorces are more complicated than others. If you have significant or unique assets, children, or extenuating circumstances, you should not use mediation as your negotiation tool. Child custody, child support, and property division involving uncommon assets all require the attention of a trained legal professional.
Q: How Do I Decide If Mediation Is Right for Me?
A: Deciding whether mediation is right for you and your spouse requires discussion and open communication between the two of you. If you are unable to come to a decision regarding mediation or litigation, it is unlikely that you will be able to successfully negotiate your divorce through mediation. However, if you can still communicate when needed, the process may be beneficial for you. You can speak to an attorney from Stange Law Firm for personalized insight.
Q: Do I Need an Attorney for a Divorce in St. Charles, MO?
A: You do not need legal representation for a divorce. However, if you try to navigate your divorce without legal representation, it is unlikely that you will receive a proper settlement, favorable child custody and child support arrangements, and other key benefits. The process will also likely be much more complicated under these circumstances. For these reasons, it is beneficial to hire either your own legal representative or a mediator. They have the knowledge and skills to help with your divorce process.
Q: What Is the Cheapest Way to File for Divorce?
A: The most economical way to divorce is through an uncontested divorce. However, scenarios that truly warrant an uncontested divorce are rare. In these situations, one spouse files for divorce and outlines the terms. The receiving spouse accepts the terms as they are, without negotiation or mediation of any kind. This often puts the receiving spouse at a disadvantage, as they relinquish the opportunity to advocate for their own needs and desires.
Q: Do All Divorces Go to Court?
A: Yes. All divorces must at least go to court to present their case and get court approval for the dissolution of marriage. However, the negotiations for a divorce do not necessarily happen in court. In many cases, a couple’s attorneys negotiate terms outside of court. They only appear before a judge for approval. In situations where attorneys and clients cannot come to an agreement, the case will go to court so that the judge can make final decisions.
Contact Stange Law Firm in St. Charles, MO
Our team at Stange Law Firm is here to help you with your divorce process, regardless of what it looks like. To learn more, contact Stange Law Firm today.