After deciding to end your marriage, the real work towards doing so begins. For some, the immediate step is to obtain legal representation and begin to communicate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse through lawyers. However, prior to your case ending up in court, you will have the opportunity to decide if mediation may be a good fit when it comes to you and your ex-partner.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a confidential process where two parties come together with a neutral third party assigned to mediate conversations surrounding your divorce settlement, children, and the division of assets. This gives you and your ex-partner more control over the divorce process rather than the hands of the courts. Whether to try mediation is up to you and is not a mandatory step of the divorce process unless ordered by the court.
Do I Require Legal Representation During Mediation?
Whether or not you and your ex-partner will obtain legal representation during the mediation process is, like the mediation process itself, purely up to both of you. Mediation tends to centre around an equal balance of power and representation, meaning most mediators will want both parties to have legal representation present or not. Whether or not you are consulting with a lawyer outside of mediation throughout the process is up to you and can happen as frequently as you need to be comfortable.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation leaves the terms of the divorce in the hands of the spouses, as opposed to a judge. This means that decisions surrounding your assets and your children will be discussed and agreed upon out of court. Since these discussions can take time, mediation allows you, your ex-partner and your mediator to proceed at a pace you can all agree on. When in the hands of a judge, the timing is based solely on the judge’s schedule with court processing times, which means your divorce can take much longer than you want. For some, the time alone makes considering mediation worth it.
Mediation is a process that encourages compromise and communication. Going through the mediation process often leads to a more amicable post-divorce relationship. This is because you are communicating with each other directly but without the opportunity for things to get out of hand. If there are children involved, mediation is also a helpful tool when it comes to maintaining effective communication with your ex-partner. The kids will see the two of you making the family dynamic a continued top priority.
To think about the potential hardships that come with a court case can be overwhelming. However, choosing mediation can offer a timely and cost-efficient way of going through a divorce. If you have questions about the mediation process, including what to look for when selecting a mediator, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Gelman & Associates. We offer mediation services throughout the GTA and are happy to take your call. Please call us at (844) 769-0737 or 1-844-769-0737, or contact us online.