If you have decided to get a divorce, you’ve probably already been through a painful process in making that decision. The last thing you need is an unnecessarily long, expensive and emotionally exhausting legal procedure. Fortunately, if you and your spouse have no great disagreements and are capable of working cooperatively with one another, you may be able to reach a divorce settlement through mediation. For decades, the family law attorneys at MeehanLaw, LLC in Bridgeport have represented clients in divorce mediation. We’re ready to help you reach an agreement that upholds your rights and lets you move toward the future with confidence.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that helps participants avoid going to trial by reaching a reasonable compromise of their legal issues. In mediation, parties meet alone with a neutral third party, the mediator, who guides them through a discussion of all pertinent issues to achieve an agreement they can present to the court to make it legally binding.
In divorce mediation, the goal is to enable the spouses to complete an uncontested divorce. The mediator leads the discussion to resolve the major issues — such as alimony, child custody, child support and property division — over the course of several sessions. When the spouses reach a complete agreement, they present a document memorializing their settlement to the judge, who incorporates those terms into the divorce decree. Your divorce settlement agreement then has the force of law behind it, and you can request enforcement from the court if necessary.
If the agreement is not complete, the parties can present a partial settlement to the court for approval and ask for trial on the outstanding issues. Mediation is not binding, so if you feel you’re not making any progress, you can opt out at any time. However, it’s important to realize that mediation is work, so you can expect a bit of frustration and you should not expect to get everything you want in your mediated agreement.
The mediator does not have to be an attorney, but even an attorney-mediator cannot offer legal advice to either side. Therefore, it is advisable to have your own family law attorney who can help prepare you for your mediation sessions and review your progress, up to and including the final document.
There are several reasons to choose divorce mediation:
For all these reasons, mediation is worth trying for many couples, especially if negotiations between them fail to produce a settlement. In some cases, though, going to court may be inevitable, such as when a marriage has been marred by domestic violence, threats or intimidation or one or both spouses refuse to voluntarily disclose financial information.
MeehanLaw, LLC represents Bridgeport residents in divorce mediation procedures. To get trustworthy advice and solid legal assistance, call 203-916-1743 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our Bridgeport office.