Mediation is a great option for people in Minnesota who are looking for an amicable way to settle a divorce.
There are several ways for someone to finalize a divorce. One is to reach a resolution with a spouse outside the courtroom, such as through an uncontested divorce. Another is to go to court and have a judge render a decision.
There is also the option of alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation. According to the Minnesota Judicial Branch, this is the way that the majority of civil cases such as divorce proceedings across the state are settled. Mediation is a great way for people to amicably find a solution, but it may not be right for everyone.
Understanding the mediation process
In mediation, both spouses meet with a neutral third party - the mediator - to discuss how to resolve a variety of issues surrounding the end of a marriage. It is important to understand that the mediator does not work for either spouse but rather as an outside party. The couple will tackle applicable topics such as the following:
- Property division
- Child support
- Visitation rights and child custody
- Spousal support
The mediator can intervene to help the couple brainstorm ideas and communicate effectively. Having that third party present can enable the couple to stay focused on the issues instead of turning the conversation into an argument.
This process if confidential, and it is also flexible. It can take place behind closed doors in a setting that is comfortable for both spouses. Additionally, it enables couples to develop solutions on their own instead of having a court issue a ruling.
Determining if it's right
The Minnesota State Bar Association points out that anyone involved in a civil issue is expected to give mediation or another settlement method a try before moving to litigation. However, there are some circumstances in which mediation may not be appropriate.
For example, if there has been any domestic violence or abuse, mediation may not be effective. It is possible that one party may feel bullied or pushed to do something that he or she does not want to do. Mediation should be a welcoming process, not one in which someone feels threatened.
It may also be unwise to go through the mediation process if a couple cannot work well together. Mediation requires a willingness to collaborate and communicate. Two people who are unable to do so will not benefit from the mediation process. If mediation does not result in a resolution, the case will move to court.
For those who are a good fit, mediation is a great and cost-efficient way to reach a settlement in a divorce. People who have questions regarding this topic should speak with a family law attorney in Minnesota.