Many people choose to represent themselves in their divorces to save on attorney’s fees and court costs. They are called pro se litigants; pro se means – representing yourself. This choice is becoming most common in family law. But, what happens when one party is ready to finalize their divorce and the other party is no longer in agreement? Or, what if the parties are just unsure about what issues to address? What is the alternative to spending thousands of dollars in hiring an attorney or going to court?
Divorce mediations are a great option in solving this problem. Have no clue what a mediation is? You’re not alone. Mediation is when a mediator helps each party get on track towards reaching agreements through negotiation. Think of a mediator like a referee, who is there to help you reach agreements and move toward resolution of your case. They can either be an attorney or a non-attorney who is certified by the state.
Many people believe that they can only go to divorce mediation if they are being represented by an attorney, but that is not true. If you and your spouse, or significant other, have a problem or cannot agree, look for a divorce mediator that works with pro se families.
A mediator can help with not only disagreements, but can help identify things that are agreed upon; help the parties communicate more effectively; explore options that you may not have considered; and create an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
Another benefit to mediation is the cost. While you may spend a full day in an office with a mediator, the cost per hour will be significantly less than heading to court with an attorney in tow. Where you may end up spending five or ten thousand dollars working with an attorney and going to court, you will only spend a few hundred to a few thousand with a mediator and you will have a say in the outcome of your case!
I hope I have given you a good idea of the basics of a mediation. Look for more posts in the future about the process and benefits of mediation. If any of you have questions in the meantime, please feel free to comment below or reach out to us!
Have a very merry holidays!