Mediation can be an important tool for divorcing couples. It spares divorcing couples significant time and expense that would be required to litigate their divorce. More importantly, it can save a lot of grief and other painful emotions that come up during an ugly divorce trial. This can make it easier for spouses to work together after a divorce in order to parent their children. St. Louis divorce mediator Jennifer Rench has years of experience negotiating financial and parenting issues. She has helped many couples reach settlements that are right for their families, and she can help you, too. Call (314) 328-5423 today to schedule your free consultation.
Here are some things to consider before you agree to mediation with your spouse:
Will you be safe throughout the divorce mediation process?
Domestic violence is a very real concern for many St. Louis families. In these cases, it is not always safe for one spouse to be in the same room as the other. Tense divorce negotiations can be especially provoking for someone with anger management problems. In these cases, it is often better (and safer) for spouses to conduct negotiations through their attorneys. Start Here has a list of resources available to domestic violence victims in the St. Louis area. Be sure to get a safety plan in place before initiating divorce proceedings against an abusive spouse.
Do you have all the documentation you need to make informed decisions?
In the litigation process, attorneys have the power to issue subpoenas and compel your spouse to testify under oath. The judge has the authority to compel this documentation and testimony and can hold your spouse in contempt of court if he or she refuses. These are important tools. In circumstances where one spouse is hiding assets or simply not being completely honest, they can help bring out all the facts that are needed to make fair decisions.
In litigation, each side agrees to provide the documentation that is needed to make informed decisions about settling the case. Many couples do this willingly and without incident. But if your spouse has hidden bank accounts, unscrupulous business dealings, or secret activities that are not in your kids’ best interests, he or she will probably not volunteer this information. In such cases, it is often necessary to go to court simply to force your spouse to produce the evidence to which you are entitled.
Are you willing to keep an open mind?
The goal of mediation is to come up with solutions that work for both spouses. It is almost certain that neither person will get exactly what he or she wants. But the mediation process can be used to come up with creative solutions that are best for the family. Both spouses must come to the process with an open mind. If you come to the mediation process determined to get exactly what you want, mediation is likely to fail. (You are also likely to be disappointed at the end of the litigation process. Judges rarely – if ever – side entirely with one spouse over the other on every single issue before the court.) It is important not to start mediation by making demands. You should also not have preconceived notions about what is “fair,” and what you must get, or your spouse must not get.
Mediation is a voluntary process. This means that no one can force you to accept a settlement at mediation – both spouses must agree to it. Because of this, you can go into the mediation process with an open mind, knowing that you will not be forced to accept a settlement against your will. Be willing to listen to the many suggestions and solutions that are discussed. You will likely hear ideas that you had not thought of before. Even if a particular idea isn’t quite right, it could lead you to consider other solutions, and come up with something that fits for your family. The more open-minded and creative everyone is, the more effective mediation can be.
Call Today to Explore Your Options with a St. Louis Divorce Mediation Lawyer
Mediation is a powerful method of resolving divorces both quickly and cost-effectively. By learning more about mediation, you can decide if it is right for you and your family. Attorney Jennifer Rench is a skilled divorce mediation lawyer who is committed to helping individuals resolve their family law disputes as favorably as possible. To schedule a consultation with Ms. Rench, call our office today at (314) 207-0641 or contact us online.