If every family law matter that arose in Alabama required litigation in front of a judge, those hoping to update their custody orders or divorce might spend years waiting for their day in court. Thankfully, many parents and spouses experiencing some kind of family law dispute seek to resolve the matter via mediation instead.
For example, those preparing for divorce may agree to mediate with one another. People who disagree about co-parenting matters or who can’t seem to negotiate an appropriate property division settlement might find that the mediation process lets them resolve their challenges as amicably as possible given the current family circumstances. Why do those handling custody or divorce matters find mediation to be a beneficial process?
Mediation speeds up dispute resolution
As previously noted, waiting for a hearing in court can drastically extend how long it takes to resolve family law disputes. Those who successfully mediate and who sign an agreement may still have to wait for a hearing in front of a judge to formalize their settlement. However, they can start sharing custody or planning for their financial future based on the settlement they reached in mediation. The faster solution to a disagreement will mean less time spent in court, which can also mean that the parties to the disagreement have lower total costs to resolve their dispute.
Mediation keeps details private
High-conflict divorces in Alabama often have certain details that people don’t want to make public. Whether one spouse misused financial resources for gambling or there are allegations of abuse, it may be necessary to discuss the conflicts between the spouses to arrive at an appropriate settlement. Such discussions in open court will result in the details of the allegations either spouse makes becoming public record. When couples discuss their disagreements and challenges in mediation, they have the protection of confidentiality. Only the agreement that they signed will be part of the public record for their divorce case.
Mediation gives control and can reduce conflict
When there are children involved or possibly a requirement for the divorcing spouses to continue working with each other in the future because of a business they own jointly, mediation can also serve as an important way of resolving conflict while preserving the functional relationship between the two parties planning a dispute. Parties also have more direct control over the specific terms set, which can be especially important when dividing parenting time.
Discussing mediation as an option might be a good approach for those preparing for a family law matter in Alabama and hoping to pursue a quieter, faster and more controlled process.