It is often beneficial for divorcing individuals to work out their own settlement agreement, which can allow them to avoid the courtroom altogether. Settling a divorce outside of court can be beneficial on many levels. Reaching an agreement as to all issues related to your divorce not only tends to be easier emotionally, but it also can result in a faster and less expensive resolution of your divorce altogether. Mediation is a common form of alternative dispute resolution that helps many divorcing couples come to an agreement on matters involved in your divorce, including child custody, visitation, and property and debt division.
What Does a Mediator Do?
A mediator is an individual who has special training in terms of resolving disputes. He or she often is an attorney in a divorce case, but not always. The mediator is a neutral third party, meaning that he or she has no interest in the outcome of your divorce. He or she does not represent either you or your spouse or your individual interests. The mediator will meet with both spouses and/or attorneys, as well as individually with each party to the dispute. In doing so, the mediator will attempt to determine which issues related to your divorce you can agree upon and those on which you cannot agree. If successful, mediation can result in a written agreement that settles all matters related to your divorce, which avoids lengthy, unpleasant, and expensive court proceedings.
Benefits Unique to Mediation
Aside from being more efficient and inexpensive, even attempting to mediate your divorce has its benefits. Some courts that handle divorces require spouses to attempt to mediate their divorce. This does not mean that you are required to resolve your divorce through mediation; it means only that you must attend the mediation and make a good faith effort to resolve your differences. Even if mediation is unsuccessful in your case, however, you can rest assured that your mediator cannot be subpoenaed or required to testify in your divorce proceedings. Likewise, all negotiations and statements that occur during mediation are confidential. Plus, a mediator cannot force you into an agreement or issue a binding order in your divorce. You are free to accept or reject anything that the mediator proposes during the mediation proceedings.
The lawyers of the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, LLC know how crucial the decisions that you make during your divorce proceedings can be to your long-term financial situation, as well as the importance of creating a custody and visitation arrangement that is truly in the best interest of your children. Whether you decide that mediation is right for you and your situation or not, we are here to support you during your divorce proceedings. Contact your experienced South Carolina divorce attorney today and learn how you can best protect yourself before, during, and after your divorce.
Angela Elliot Frazier is a Family Law Attorney who practices in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years now. Angela Frazier believes in helping you through one of the most stressful times of your life. Learn more about her experience by clicking here.