When you get married, it’s never with the intention of one day getting divorced. However, sometimes all other options have been exhausted, and divorce is the only reasonable solution. No matter the reason for the separation from your partner, it’s not an easy chapter of life to navigate, especially alone. However, if you and your spouse are on the same page, you can end your marriage peacefully using mediation, which makes the overall process less stressful!
A least one session of mediation may still be required in Utah before you take the traditional divorce route, but it might even end up working. At Green Legal Group, our dedicated and compassionate divorce attorneys have guided many clients through the steps of divorce. We always work diligently to help our clients collaborate with their spouse on their own terms and make this transition a bit easier! If you are getting divorced, here are some things you should know about mediation before you take any more steps in the process.
What Is Mediation?
When most people think of divorce, they usually imagine a nasty, drawn-out legal battle between two angry people. However, some couples mutually agree that divorce is the best option and want to move forward amicably. At Green Legal Group, we’re experienced in mediation and encourage it as an alternative solution to traditional divorce. Divorce mediation is a process that allows disputing parties to meet with a professional and neutral third party to resolve their differences. It is typically an informal, confidential, and collaborative process.
- Mediation In Utah Actually Is Voluntary…Kind Of.
Though the first session of mediation is required, you can request to have it waived and go directly to a hearing if resolving divorce disputes between you and your partner has surpassed the possibility of mediation. (Whether or not this request gets accepted depends on your specific situation). Especially if your partner has a history of domestic violence, or is acting immaturely, this may be in your best interests. However, if there are no extreme circumstances such as that, meeting with a mediator and coming to an agreement on the terms of your divorce without the involvement of a judge usually prevents a hostile environment and eliminates some of the stress and overwhelming emotions that come with divorce. If you and your spouse can’t come to an agreement through mediation, then a formal hearing will be necessary.
- Mediation Is Quicker Than Traditional Divorce.
One thing about traditional divorce is it can take an extensive amount of time. In fact, on average, it takes about 12 months to get a divorce in the U.S. That’s an entire year of your life that you’ll spend dealing with filing a divorce petition and waiting on a final judgment. Plus, if your case goes to trial, the average amount of time a divorce takes is 18 months. When you choose mediation, it is much quicker than traditional divorce, as court isn’t required. It also allows you and your spouse to have an open dialogue you may not have had leading up to your divorce, increasing the possibility of reaching a resolution together, rather than taking the time to go back and forth between your attorneys.
- It’s Less Expensive
Mediation doesn’t cost as much as traditional divorce does, due to there being less time and less legal representation involved. Nolo did a survey that found that the national average hourly rate for a traditional divorce lawyer is $270/hr, and because no divorce is the same, there’s no way to know exactly how many hours you’ll end up paying for if you work with an attorney who bills by the hour. The same study also found that those who hired a “full-scope divorce attorney” paid about $11,300 in attorney fees. However, when couples choose mediation, they get to choose the frequency of their sessions, and mediators charge as low as $30/hr which is much more cost-effective. While you may need to have a lawyer to represent you and ensure fairness, the time you’ll save through mediation can reduce the amount of fees you pay.
- It Allows You And Your Spouse To Have More Control
When you and your spouse can negotiate the terms of your divorce, it will keep the control out of the hands of a judge and in your own hands. Though mediation and resolving things cordially can be difficult, so can having a judge be the one who has the final say on personal matters like property and asset division, spousal support, custody of your children (if you have them), child support, taxes, insurance, and more. When you allow for collaboration, you can keep the court out of your private matters, which ultimately will lead to more satisfactory results for everyone involved. If you do have children, mediation can be especially beneficial for their well-being, which leads to the fifth thing you should know about mediation….
- It Can Preserve Your Relationships
If you decide to get married, you and your spouse’s life are immediately intertwined. Family and friends are intermixed…you may have children…you might even operate a business together. Divorce can be detrimental to not just your relationship as a couple, but to your entire network of mutual relationships. When you choose mediation, you allow these relationships to not be broken or damaged by a lengthy legal battle but actually keep them alive and as healthy as possible during a time of transition.
How We Can Help With Mediation Or With Traditional Divorce
Whether or not mediation will work for you and your spouse depends on each party’s desire to work things out in a peaceful manner, the history of your relationship, and other circumstances surrounding your reason for divorce. However, if you want to keep your divorce confidential, flexible, and collaborative, Green Legal Group can help. We have 15+ years of experience helping couples divorce in a way that is best suited to their needs. We are seasoned in mediation cases, but if conflict cannot be resolved out of court, we’re more than capable of fighting for your rights if necessary. We will take care of everything so that you can focus on moving on with your life. Call our divorce attorneys at Green Legal Group today for a free 30-minute consultation!