Mediation: Eliminating the courtroom battles

When people in Lake County think about the term divorce, they often picture two spouses standing in a courtroom and fighting over everything from the children to the pictures on the walls in their once happy home. However, the process of splitting a married union no longer has to be a contentious one. Many couples are finding great success in choosing to participate in

What is mediation?

Mediation is often used in business disputes to work out a settlement that is agreeable to both parties and over the last several years it has picked up popularity with couples who are going through a divorce. The mediator acts as a neutral third-party whose job it is to help facilitate discussions and ensure that each party has an equal voice. Often, when spouses are able to voice their concerns in a positive manner, leaving their emotions at the door, they can learn to work together to come to an agreement.

Mediations can be used for the following issues:

Some people may think that the mediator will make the final decision in the matter, but this is not true. According to the American Bar Association, the mediator takes the time to meet with each spouse separately to understand what each spouse wants out of the deal and then helps them by guiding the discussion to address those wants. The mediator then helps the couple draft the agreement and counsels them to consult with their legal representation before signing it.

Benefits of mediation

Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience in his or her life. This is because there is often a sense of loss over the dissolution of a relationship and the pressure created by the need to make several decisions that are life-changing. If a couple is combative, it can create even more stress, leading health problems. According to The Huffington Post, people who experience a large amount of stress in their divorce can develop sleep issues, depression, weaker immune systems, anxiety, weight gain, digestive problems and chronic stress which can raise blood pressure and affect a person’s heart rate.

One way that couples can reduce the level of stress from their divorce is to decide that they will use mediation instead of the court to iron out their issues and work through the serious choices that must be made. Instead of making accusations they can focus their energy on what solutions will meet both of their needs. If the spouses have children, their willingness to use mediation can also teach their children how to solve issues through calm and open discussion.

When mediation may not work

There are some situations where mediation may not be a wise idea. If one spouse is domineering or there is an issue concerning domestic violence, mediation is unlikely to be effective. It is important for both spouses to be able to make a commitment to using mediation and to be honest with the mediator during the process.

If you are going through a divorce, it is a good idea to talk with an attorney that offers mediation services to learn how to avoid a lengthy and costly court battle.