Updated: Jun 19
Sometimes Things Fall Apart
As hard as we might try, many marriages end in divorce. In fact, even though U.S. divorce rates are falling overall, according to recent statistics the rate for second marriages remains over fifty percent.
There is no such thing as a "good" divorce, but it is possible to remain amicable and to salvage a good relationship between exes. In fact, my first husband remains my best friend. He even bought me Red Lobster after we sat down with a professional to sign our formal separation agreement. (There is nothing a Cheddar Bay Biscuit cannot fix.) The chances of a healthy, long-term relationship--or, at least a peaceful end--obviously increase if you can execute your divorce in a friendly and cooperative way. One way to do that is by coming to a divorce settlement through informal mediation.
What is Informal Mediation?
You may be familiar with formal mediation, which is often ordered by courts as part of the divorce process. A mediator is a neutral third party who helps two parties come to an agreement. They do not take sides and they do not provide legal advice. Instead, they help the parties to communicate effectively, identify their interests, and develop solutions that meet both of their needs. Unfortunately, if you are introduced to a mediator as part of a court order, it may be difficult to come to an agreement because litigation has already created some additional animosity.
Divorce can be a difficult and emotional process. It is important to find a way to resolve the issues involved in a way that is fair to both parties and minimizes the stress and conflict, particularly if the parties plan to co-parent children or pets. One way to do this is to use a mediator prior to considering litigation to help you draft a divorce settlement. Informal mediators can be anyone from a licensed counselor to a listed, court-approved mediator to a private attorney acting as a third-party neutral--the latter being a service offered at Murphy's Law LLC.
Why It Is Better to Draft a Divorce Settlement Using a Mediator Than Litigation
There are several advantages to using a mediator (or lawyer-as-a-third-party neutral) to draft a divorce settlement. First, it can save money. Lawyers can be expensive, and mediation is often less costly. Second, it can save time. Mediation can be a more efficient way to resolve the issues involved in a divorce. Third, it can help to preserve the relationship between the parties. Mediation can create a more positive and cooperative environment, which can make it easier for the parties to co-parent in the future. You can think about mediation as a "trial run" for the problem-solving you will often need to do as co-parents!
If you are considering mutual divorce (and as long as there is no intimate partner violence or other abusive dynamic), I encourage you to consider using a mediator to help draft your settlement agreement. It can be a cost-effective, time-saving, and relationship-building way to resolve the issues involved in your divorce.
Here are some additional benefits of using a mediator to draft a divorce settlement:
Mediation is confidential. The mediator will not disclose any information that is shared in mediation to anyone else, including the court. This can be helpful for parties who want to keep their divorce private. Please note the special rules that apply to lawyers serving in that capacity, here.
Mediation is flexible. The mediator can tailor the mediation process to the specific needs of the parties. This can be helpful for parties who have complex issues or who want to resolve their divorce quickly. Depending on the wishes of the party, a lawyer acting as a neutral can also step into a decision-maker role to help resolve complex questions.
Mediation is empowering. The parties are in control of the mediation process. They decide what issues to discuss, what information to share, and what solutions to consider. This can be helpful for parties who want to feel like they are in control of their own destiny.
If you are considering divorce, I am happy to provide more information about the mediation and drafting services we offer. It may be the best way to resolve the issues involved in your divorce. Please also note that Murphy's Law LLC does not represent parties in contested divorces.
This post was created with the assistance of Bard, an AI solution from Google.