Considering Divorce Mediation In Maryland? What You Need To Know
When you get a divorce, one of the first decisions is how you will handle it legally. You can hire attorneys and fight the matter in court or another option is to try divorce mediation, a popular way to address critical issues without the time and cost of going to court. Learn about divorce mediation in this article, then contact our Maryland divorce mediation attorneys at Shah & Kishore to determine if mediation is an option.
Divorce Mediation Overview
Divorce mediation involves the spouses meeting with a neutral, third-party negotiator in an informal meeting, not in a courtroom. Sessions often occur in the mediator’s office., Regardless of where you meet, the mediator can help to settle issues between spouses, including property division, child custody, child support, and more. If Mediation leads to a settlement then the terms of the settlement can be documented with a Marital Settlement Agreement.
After the couple signs the settlement agreement, they can file an uncontested divorce with the Circuit Court in Maryland that has jurisdiction and venue over the Parties Divorce. The court will fast-track cases where everything has been worked out ahead of time. As a result, many uncontested divorces can be finalized within weeks in most circumstances after filing the Uncontested Divorce Complaint.
Why Should You Consider Divorce Mediation?
Choosing divorce mediation is not for everyone, but it has many advantages outlined below. Remember, you can always try mediation, and if it is unsuccessful, you can do a conventional divorce with your attorney’s assistance:
Navigate Major Divorce Issues
When the two of you agree on significant issues, you can get an uncontested divorce quickly and inexpensively. However, you will need another option if you still have problems that cannot be agreed upon.
Also, more complex divorces involving children, significant assets, and alimony may require specialized help. A skilled mediator can point out details that need to be solved. They can also suggest potential solutions you can review with your attorney.
Divorce mediation leaves much of the matter up to you instead of a judge deciding your fate and your children’s fate. No one knows your personal situation better than you and your spouse. Mediation can help you determine the terms of your divorce.
Also, family courts are busy, and judges only have a limited time to address each case. You could have to wait months for a date in court. When you do mediation, you can get into the significant issues in your particular situation and craft a solution relatively quickly. For instance, you and your partner could be able to devise a plan in mediation that would allow the Parties to continue owning the Parties’ marital home until one or more of their children graduate from elementary/Junior High School and/or High School.
Or, you could agree to pay your spouse temporary alimony while she returns to school or gets job training. Of course, a judge could order these issues in divorce court, but this route is less expensive and gives you more control and flexibility.
Most people going thru a divorce would like the process to be completed as quickly as possible.. When you hire a divorce attorney and go to court, you could be waiting for the court date for your divorce for months. The Mediation process is obviously can be expedited per the wishes and timeline sought by the Parties.
After mediation, you and your ex will likely get along better than if you went through a Contested Divorce Hearing that involves Parties presenting evidence and testimony from witnesses that can create a lot of additional anger and animosity between the Parties. Disagreements in court breed resentment and anger that are almost impossible to overcome when the divorce ends. If you have children, you will have to deal with each other going forward, so having a less acrimonious relationship is preferred.
Any time you reduce the attorney’s billable hours out of a legal process, the cost goes down. In a divorce, there can be a lot of disagreement and arguing, which drives up the legal fees.
In the typical mediation session, the spouses will split what the mediator costs. Resolving a divorce case thru mediation will always be more cost-effective than going thru a contested divorce case thru the court system. If you are intimidated by having to go to mediation without an attorney then you do have a right to go to mediation with an attorney of your choice.
If you go to court, you must abide by the court’s schedule. You may be forced to wait months for a final divorce merits hearing. At times the Judges have several matters scheduled at the same time which leads to divorcing parties having to wait hours before their case is even heard on the trial date provided by the Court. If you choose the mediation route you will avoid these possible scenarios that do occur during the litigation process in Court.
Misconceptions About Divorce Mediation
It is understandable to have questions about divorce mediation, and there are misconceptions online about it:
I Will Have To Agree To Something I Do Not Want
Compromise is inevitable in mediation, but the mediator will keep the negotiations on track and help you review the options. Sometimes the mediator will come up with ideas that you did not consider. They will try to propose solutions that are a win for both sides. You will not be pressured into accepting a provision you do not want. Remember that mediation is voluntary and not ordered by the court, so you can stop at any time. Going back to court is always an option.
Mediation Will Just Turn Into An Argument
There will be some disagreements during the session. But a skilled mediator never allows arguing, abusive behavior, or name-calling. Any blaming of either party will be redirected to solving the major divorce issues that were the reason for the session.
Contact Our Maryland Divorce Attorneys
If you are getting a divorce, there are many issues to work out between you. Consider divorce mediation to reduce the cost and stress of the process. Please contact our Maryland divorce attorneys at Shah & Kishore today at (301) 315-0001 to determine if divorce mediation is an option.