Divorce is never a happy time for the people who are going through it. Yet litigating your divorce can make a bad situation even worse! When you litigate your divorce you basically give up your ability to control the outcome. When you litigate your divorce you give the reins over to the lawyers and let them negotiate, bicker and settle on something THEY think is reasonable. Just think about that for a moment, it’s no longer about what you want or think is fair, and it’s no longer about what you know your children need. It’s about what this person (who knows nothing about you or your family) tells you has been negotiated with another stranger. Here are a couple of things you need to consider when it comes to determining your path for divorce.
When you think about life with your children after divorce, there is only one question you need to answer when weighing your option between litigation or mediation: Do you want a stranger to determine when, where and how long you see your children? If the answer is a resounding no, then mediation is the divorce track you need to be on. Can you imagine a stranger walking up to you and telling you “I’m sorry, but the time you can spend with your children is up, please take them home to your ex-spouse”? When you litigate your divorce and children are involved, this isn’t far from what could happen. If instead you mediate your divorce, you and your spouse retain the authority to determine the custody arrangements that work best for your children and your family.
When you think about how the divorce process will affect your children, think about this: do you want to introduce them to an attorney whose job it will be to meet with them, their teachers, their doctor and anyone else the attorney thinks are necessary to aid the attorney in representing your children’s wishes? If you don’t want to potentially expose your children and their whole world to the legal system, then Mediation is path you should take to obtain your divorce.
Mediation is about self-determination. That is, allowing you and your spouse to make the important decisions about what your life and your children’s lives will look like after divorce. Letting strangers make decisions for you is something you wouldn’t do in your everyday life. So why would you allow it during a time when your life, lively hood, and relationships are most vulnerable? Take the time to learn your options when it comes to divorce. Remember, don’t litigate, Mediate!
Please feel free to leave a comment on LinkedIn with any topics you may want to learn more about. If there is a part of the process that you don’t understand, or have heard conflicting information from friends and family, let me know and your question may make it into a future post.