The rate at which couples going to court and are filing for a divorce or separation continues to escalate. This is a process that is not only stressing, but also costly and time-consuming. While couples may have already decided on the path they want to take with their lives, one of the things they may consider to solve their disputes is by going to court. However, is this always the right decision? The answer to this question may differ especially according to the issues presented on the table. However, given that children and other people may be included when a couple decides on going to court, it is important to consider other alternatives such as mediation.
By agreeing to go for a mediation information assessment meeting (MIAM) first, you will be in a better position to know if your disputes can be resolved outside the court. In addition, as opposed to court proceedings which can turn out messy, mediations are carried out professionally, secretly and to your convenience. This means that couples can set a time when they are both free to attend, as opposed to the court proceeding where there is a strict timeline to be followed.
Mediators are usually neutral and professional people who have helped numerous couples solve their disputes. By deciding to go for mediation first before going to court, the mediator will be able to advise the couple on the way forward, and if their case can be solved through mediation or a court process. Court processes are usually costly when compared to a mediation. This is because both parties have to have a separate attorney, while in a mediation they only get to pay for the mediator. Since mediation is voluntary, couples can choose when to end a mediation, while in a court case, this may not be possible until a decision is arrived at.
In a mediation setup, both parties make decisions on their own, with the mediator only there to guide them. This means that couples can make decisions they are willing to live by without feeling coerced. After successfully completing the mediation and agreeing on how to solve their disputes, couples are required to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU). The couple may then decide to make the MoU legal and binding by getting it reviewed by an attorney.