Going through a divorce as a working mom can be tough. When you combine the emotional components of the process, the potential for financial loss, and the time commitment of an in-court divorce, you’ve have several opportunities for your divorce to become a messy, stressful experience. Some things are inevitable – for example, you’re bound to have a lot of complicated feelings about your marriage ending. Luckily, you do have options when deciding how to handle your divorce, and you can make the whole process a lot easier for yourself and your kids if you choose wisely.
Family law mediation is a great option for working moms whose marriage is ending. It is a process undertaken by both parties and their own attorneys, and its goal is to peacefully resolve disputes without the time and cost of a traditional divorce. Attorneys involved in the family law mediation process facilitate constructive discussion about asset distribution, spousal maintenance, child support, custody, and all other components of divorce. This process has so many benefits over an in-court divorce, especially for busy working moms. Read on to learn about all you can gain by choosing mediation over traditional divorce.
Reason #1: Mediation is affordable
Compared to a more traditional divorce, mediation is far less expensive. Divorce can drastically change your financial circumstances, so it’s nice to have an option where you can minimize your financial loss. When you choose mediation, it may also be easier to estimate the cost upfront. The unpredictability of a traditional divorce is one of the main reasons it can be so expensive; mediation is far more predictable when it comes to both cost and time.
Reason #2: You’ll save yourself time with mediation
When you choose mediation, you gain much more control of the timeline. You can plan to have negotiations done in a certain period of time to work around major upcoming events in your work or personal schedule. Of course, even with the best intentions, it’s possible mediation will not go exactly as you planned. If negotiation stops being advantageous, you can choose to reach a final agreement with your ex at that time, so you can both move on with your lives.
Reason #3: Mediation can salvage a platonic relationship with your spouse
If you decide to argue your case before the courts, you can expect it to damage your relationship with your spouse. You may both feel the other party is being unreasonable and trying to benefit from the divorce to your detriment, especially when your marriage and finances are discussed in detail in a public forum. As co-parents, these actions can have implications on the whole family for years to come. If you want to minimize conflict between you and your ex, mediation is usually the way to go. You’ll keep your private business private and can address concerns surrounding fairness as they arise.
Reason #4: You can schedule mediation meetings with more flexibility
With only you, your ex, and your divorce attorneys involved, it can be much easier to plan negotiations around your schedule. When you involve the courts in your divorce, you can expect to show up exactly when you’re needed with little flexibility. As an added bonus, since mediation can keep things more civil between parties, your ex may end up being more thoughtful of your time and willing to adjust the mediation schedule to better align with your work schedule.
Reason #5: Your co-parenting can be strengthened through mediation
If you’re a parent, you should consider mediation to address concerns you have about your parenting plan, custody arrangement, and any other aspects of parenting after separation or divorce. You’re preparing to take on a new role as a divorced parent, and you’ll be juggling your work and home life as you adjust. If you or your children need certain things from your co-parent to make the transition to post-divorce life go smoothly, you can request them more easily through mediation.
You and your ex-spouse both want what’s best for your children, so getting on the same page is beneficial to everyone. Being in the presence of family law mediators may actually make it easier for you and your ex to discuss important parenting decisions than when you were married. Mediation turns arguments about difficult topics into collaborative efforts.
Reason #6: Mediation doesn’t leave important decisions up to the court
For couples who go to court to finish their divorce, there’s always a gamble of either side not getting what they consider to be a fair shake of things. Mediation offers a higher level of control than asking the court to decide highly personal details of the divorce, like how assets should be divided or how couples should parent. It puts you more in control of your own life, and isn’t that the way it should be?
Reason #7: Mediation allows you to be mindful of your feelings
When you choose to mediate, you can address negative feelings more easily. If you go the traditional route and your divorce becomes an all-out battle between parties, it can cloud your judgement and distance you from your feelings. Anger and disdain often become primary emotions when a divorce is contentious. These overpowering feelings can make it more challenging to deal with the delicate emotions surrounding loss and change. If you hope to avoid the negativity of a traditional, in-court divorce, mediation is the way to go.
About the author: Allison Maxim is a family law mediator whose firm, Maxim Law PLLC, is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Allison’s background in psychology allows her to utilize a mindful approach to helping her clients resolve their family law issues.