Divorce Mediation in Michigan
Michigan allows divorcing couples to resolve their disputes through mediation as an alternative to the conventional court process. Whether divorce mediation in Michigan is the right choice for a couple, however, depends on many factors, particularly a pair’s willingness to have an amicable divorce and agree about all financial and custody matters.
How Does Divorce Mediation Work?
Mediation is great for some divorcing couples and unadvisable for others. If you fit into any of the following categories, mediation could be successful:
- You have mutually agreed to divorce.
- You can work together.
- You are prepared to be diplomatic about all divorce matters.
- You can disagree in a fair and adult way.
- You both have a full understanding of your financial situation.
- Your spouse hasn’t lied to you about important matters.
A mediator is an impartial third party in an informal environment who helps divorcing couples come to their own solutions about how to break apart their marriage and life. The skills of a mediator are valuable when the couples who thought they could be civil with each other suddenly can’t be, when the reality of divorce smacks people in the face and they begin to pick apart every belonging, piece of property, and especially the logistics of child custody and parenting time.
Can a Mediator Replace a Divorce Lawyer?
An experienced mediator is a valuable tool for many divorcing couples. A mediator can often make it possible for a couple to divide their union amicably. But a mediator cannot and will never be able to replace the legal expertise of a divorce attorney. Divorce is a legally binding contract and you want to make sure you make all the right decisions along the way – but mediators are not able to give legal advice, even if the mediator is an attorney.
Some Michigan divorce attorneys appreciate mediation – adding this element to the traditional divorce process saves the lawyer time and their client money. In some situations, a divorce can be completed more quickly with the help of a mediator. Some divorcing couples, however, don’t want to risk it. If mediation should fail, you’ll have to start all over with a divorce lawyer anyway.
Is Divorce Mediation Always a Good Decision?
Divorce is an emotionally charged experience. There will be a lot of ups and downs to mentally cope with, and people who wish to eliminate all emotion from divorce are better served by avoiding mediation and opting for the legal process of divorce only. That legal barrier removes emotion from the proceedings and helps divorce happen more efficiently.
Some couples pursue mediation because they believe this option will save them money in the long run. It might, but that isn’t a guarantee. If you choose mediation, don’t do it in lieu of a divorce attorney’s help but along with their advice. A mediator cannot give the kind of legal advice you need to feel like your divorce has been properly settled, nor is a mediator qualified to advise you on whether your divorce agreement is fair.
Yes, a mediator can help you draw up everything from a custody agreement to a parenting time schedule, but you always want a divorce attorney to review the documents before they’re filed with the court. A Michigan divorce lawyer will see any holes in your settlement and has the legal expertise to immediately recognize whether your best interests are protected.
Learn More About Mediation from a Michigan Divorce Lawyer
Your Michigan divorce lawyer wants to save you money, help your divorce proceed amicably, and move the process through the legal system as quickly as is allowed. If mediation is an option for you, your divorce attorney will let you know.