When people get divorced, they often turn to divorced friends, family members and sometimes even co-workers seeking guidance and advice. However, as helpful as it might seem to talk to someone who has been through this difficult process, it could lead to some inaccurate information and misguided assumptions.
For instance, there are numerous myths and misconceptions about mediation, which is a model that gives divorcing parties the opportunity to settle divorce-related matters outside of court. Below, we clear up a few of these myths, as believing them could adversely affect the path of your divorce.
Mediation Myth #1: Mediators will take sides
Mediators are neutral parties; they will not take sides. In fact, they won't make any decisions or tell people what to do. Rather, mediators facilitate communication between parties as they make their decisions. A mediator can keep conversations focused and productive; they can ensure both parties get equal opportunities to speak; they can diffuse heated discussions.
Mediation Myth #2: It's reserved for the most amicable splits
While mediation is one of the most peaceful, amicable ways to resolve a divorce, your divorce does not need to be free of conflict to be successful in mediation. Even if you disagree on certain areas or even hate each other, it is still possible to work toward resolutions together on at least some divorce-related matters, especially considering you will have the help of the mediator and your attorneys.
And because mediation is generally faster and less expensive than litigation, it can be easier to set aside emotions for the sake of getting through the process.
Mediation Myth #3: The results are not enforceable
Any agreements you reach in mediation are enforceable once the divorcing parties sign the agreement. You don't not have to go to court and appear in front of a judge to get legally-binding and enforceable results.
These and other myths can make people scared of or resistant to mediating a divorce. However, dismissing it as an option could be a costly mistake. As such, it is important to discuss any questions, concerns or assumptions you may have about mediation with a knowledgeable attorney.