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3 biggest myths about divorce mediation debunked

Perhaps you have heard a lot about the benefits of mediation and want to give it a try, but certain myths are holding you back.

These are just three you may believe that are not true. The bottom line is mediation is usually the best choice.

1. You have less protection

Because mediation is not a court battle, you may believe your rights will not have as much protection. However, you have the same rights and protection. The only thing that differs is how you address them. The mediator helps you and your spouse communicate effectively and respectfully and focus on what is best for your entire family. The mediator can also review legal options with you to help you make informed decisions.

Because you two are involved in the process, it puts you more in control than if you were to fight in court, meaning you actually get more of what you want. Also, even though lawyers are not present during the sessions, it is still best to have your own attorney review the agreement before submitting it to ensure it is accurate and fair.

2. It is not legally binding

Although mediators are not enforcers, the end product of mediation is enforceable. A judge approves the agreement, and if either of you do not follow the terms, the judge can penalize the offender and order compliance. The good news is the nature of mediation makes compliance more likely.

3. It works for everyone

Unfortunately, no solution is one size fits all no matter how positive it is. Mediation works best for those who can be cooperative, honest and civil. Times it is not suitable are when there is domestic violence, addiction or vengeance. It takes the common goal of an amicable, quick divorce without drama. If your spouse is not interested in that, then you may need to go straight to litigation instead.

However, simply having ill feelings toward each other or arguing does not mean mediation will not work. You may be surprised what you two can accomplish in a safe environment with a professional facilitator. Seeing a therapist can also help you work through negative feelings so you can stay focused and reasonable during mediation.

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