Filing for divorce or legal separation in Minnesota is often not an easy choice. Once you decide to move down that path, however, you have several choices of how you can proceed. When you picture the divorce process, you may think of a traditional courtroom divorce and an emotional battle to the finish.
Yet, there are other options when it comes to terminating your marriage. Mediation offers a more laid-back and interactive approach to creating a divorce settlement.
What is mediation?
During a mediation session, both parties meet to discuss the terms of the divorce settlement. A third-party mediator is also present to direct the session, answer questions and ensure all topics are covered.
You may choose to have an attorney present at the meeting, but it is not required. You can then discuss topics, including child custody, division of property and parenting plans, and create a divorce decree that meets both your wishes.
What are the advantages of mediation?
Mediation offers several advantages when compared to a traditional courtroom divorce. According to the American Bar Association, mediation benefits include the following:
- Less expensive, as you can bypass courtroom costs and other legal fees
- Quicker, as you do not have to wait for court dates and can schedule mediation appointments that work for you
- Confidential, as mediation is not a matter of public record
- Less stressful, as mediation sessions are held in a relaxed atmosphere
Parents who go through mediation often leave the marriage on better terms and have less anger toward one another, which can directly benefit children.
During mediation, it is important that both parties come to the session ready to work together to create terms that will benefit everyone involved. It may not work if one or both parties are confrontational or emotional. However, sessions can take place where you and your spouse are in separate rooms and the mediation shifts from one room to the other.