Ending a Marriage without being too Argumentative

Ending a Marriage without being too Argumentative

Apr 01

Marriage counselors and divorce lawyers know that the process of divorce is complex, demoralizing, emotional and, often, extremely frustrating, especially when it is settled in court. Contested divorce, which is the traditional way of ending a marital union, is divorce settled in a family court, wherein all decisions regarding divorce-related issues (child custody and visitation rights, child support, alimony or spousal support, and division of property, assets and debts) are made by a family court judge since the divorcing spouses refuse to agree or cannot reach an agreement on these issues.

Other than a family court judge deciding on all issues, contested divorce is also open to the public, thus, all those present in the courtroom witness how each spouse, through their respective lawyers, discredit and destroy one another, often in order to win the judge’s favor. This type of divorce can also drag on for months, even up to a couple of years, and the longer it takes to settle everything the more expensive it becomes.

Avoiding all the unpleasant effects associated with contested divorce is the most probable reason why many divorcing couples in the U.S. now choose alternative processes, one of which is mediated divorce or mediation, a private and out-of-court legal procedure wherein divorcing couples are given the chance to settle by themselves all divorce-related issues in a friendly way. If there is one thing that mediated divorce promotes, it is preserving the respect between the spouses, which is necessary in recognizing each other’s rights and interests, and vital in living out their parental roles (for though they may end being a couple, their being parents to their child/children, if they have any, does not end).

As explained in the website of the law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC, “mediated divorce is among the least contentious and time-consuming processes through which a couple may legally dissolve their marriage. In a mediated divorce, partners utilize the services of an objective mediator to resolve any outstanding disagreements through an amicable and collaborative process. This divorce process can truly be beneficial to any couple who have moderate disagreements concerning the conditions of their divorce.”

Mediated divorce offers the following benefits:

  • It allows the spouses to maintain a good relationship with each other. This will lead to faster and easier resolution of future problems;
  • It enables the spouses to resolve all issues peacefully and within a much shorter period;
  • It is less expensive compared to a contested divorce; and,
  • It helps the spouses communicate better with each other, thus making them understand more each other’s interests.

While the presence of mediated divorce lawyers (for each spouse) is not really necessary, a spouse seeking the assistance of one who is highly qualified can be more beneficial because a lawyer can help his/her client understand more the laws of contested divorce, what he/she can bargain for, how to bargain for these interests and which terms (from the other) party may be accepted, rejected or subjected to negotiation.