Mediation may be the last step that you and your spouse consider before officially filing for divorce. A married couple must file a lawsuit to dissolve a marriage legally.  However, it’s no longer necessary to follow the traditional path of litigation to work out the final terms of a divorce. Many couples are now turning to meditation as a last-ditch effort to resolve their disputes instead of turning to a courtroom. For some couples, mediation might be a better alternative than going to a court because mediation meetings are more personalized and can feel less aggressive than a court hearing. 

While there are several benefits to mediation, it will only work out as intended if both parties are willing to hear each other out, collaborate, and compromise. This can be a lot to ask of couples who are going through a difficult time. Moreover, some couples are forced to partake in mediation by a judge—not because they genuinely want to work things out. Thankfully, there are other alternatives to mediation that you and your spouse can try as a last resort. 

Finding Middle Ground

Mediation can be complicated for some couples because there is no judge to call out who is right or wrong. If a husband and wife can’t agree with some parts of a divorce, then there will be no one to enforce a mandatory decision. Don’t feel discouraged if mediation fails; you can try another mediation session again in the future. Sometimes, one mediation session isn’t enough for certain couples. Perhaps all you need is some time to be on your own and to reflect.

Initial mediation appointments are ideal for getting the ball rolling, but maybe you and your spouse were feeling too emotional. Wait a few more weeks before taking the next step in the divorce, then try to settle things once more with your spouse. Any agreements that both of you make are signs of progress, such as agreeing on a custody agreement or deciding how to split the retirement funds.  

Collaborative Practice

The collaborative practice model encourages spouses and their attorneys to commit to resolving their issues outside of a courtroom. Collaborative practice allows couples to express how they feel without a judge intervening, or without the stress of a court battle unfolding. One of the main goals of collaborative practice is to solve problems jointly and in a respectful fashion. Spouses who go with the collaborative model work closely with a team of committed professionals who are dedicated to helping both parties maneuver through the intricacies of a divorce. 

Among the professionals who couples work with are collaborative lawyers, divorce coaches, a financial specialist, and a child specialist. With the guidance of their attorneys, each spouse also selects their own divorce coach. Divorce coaches are experienced mental health professionals who are equipped to help each spouse during the stresses that come with a divorce. 

The uncertainty that divorce brings can be frightening, but you don’t have to fight through it alone. You can work with a mediation attorney or a divorce attorney by contacting The Ault Firm today.