Mediation helps ease the pain of divorce for many in Washington

It is a difficult time when a couple in Snohomish County decides to go their separate ways, especially if they have been married for quite a while or if they have children. Due to the heightened emotional state associated with divorce, it may not be possible for spouses to communicate with each other, make decisions together or even come to an agreement relating to property division and financial support. In such cases, mediation can help couples avoid taking their issues before a judge.

What is mediation?

Couples who go through mediation use an impartial mediator, or third-party, to talk about issues related to the divorce. A mediator guides the discussion between the spouses, keeping emotions out of the picture. As a neutral party, the mediator is responsible for ensuring that one spouse is not in control of the discussion or the other spouse.

When couples participate in mediation, they may feel empowered because each spouse is allowed to put out their concerns and express what they want out of the divorce settlement without fear of being bullied into a decision that would deny them their legal rights. Before any agreement is signed, one of the mediator's responsibilities is to ensure that each spouse agrees to it of their own free will and is not the result of litigation or a judge's decision.

Benefits of using mediation

There are many benefits of a couple using a mediator and some of these benefits include:

  • Saves money in legal and court fees
  • Saves time in having to go to court and then wait for a judge's decision
  • Sets an example for children, making the divorce less stressful on them
  • Avoids confrontational attitudes and approaches from either party
  • Ensures that both parties' concerns/needs are addressed
  • Prevents problems arising between the spouses

The American Bar Association points out that when it comes to mediation, the expense that a couple pays for the process can often save them anywhere between 40 and 60 percent of regular divorce litigation. In addition to the lower expense, mediation eliminates the fear and uncertainty that many people may associate with walking into a courtroom.

It should be noted that mediation may not work for everyone. According to TMZ, reality star, Porsha Williams attempted to go to mediation with her estranged husband, Kordell Stewart, but Stewart refused to cooperate. Without the cooperation and willingness of both spouses, mediation is not likely to be successful.

When a couple decides to use mediation it is important for each spouse to have legal representation. Many attorneys are now offering mediation services and this can be helpful because of their understanding of the law. If you are going through a divorce, contact a mediator to guide the decision making process.