No one enters into a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. That’s why the whole process can be so disorienting and confusing. People wonder how they ever got to this point and often blame themselves as much as they blame their partner. In the midst of this confusion, it can be difficult if not impossible to make a coherent, reasoned decision concerning how to proceed with the legalities of ending the marriage. A divorce can be litigated, collaborative, mediated or uncontested, and all of these approaches have their pros and cons. Deciding which is right for you is the first step in a divorce mediation process.
It can be hard to know what advice to take and our first consultation is designed to take an objective look at your situation and guide you towards the right approach. There are no ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ in divorce mediation – the process is meant to help people ending their partnerships to avoid unnecessary conflict and losses.
In the first consultation each kind of divorce is explained in full, along with the advantages and disadvantages as well as estimates of the overall costs involved. We’ll discuss – again, objectively – each spouse’s goals and needs, identify the areas of contention, and which divorce approach would be the most effective and the least destructive. Since a contested or adversarial divorce can cost up to $100,000, it’s usually in everyone’s interests to take a breath and spend a moment to decide if it’s necessary, or if another approach might be more mutually beneficial.
The goal of the initial consultation is not to push any particular strategy. Everyone’s situation and needs are different. The goal of the initial consultation is purely informative; to give you and your former partner all the information you’ll need in order to plot the course of your divorce. Divorce mediation does not always result in a settlement agreement that can be finalized and enforced. Sometimes its role is simply in determining the right approach for moving the process forward, and the first consultation is an invaluable tool towards that goal.
Divorce is the last major decision of your marriage. Before plunging ahead, an initial consultation in divorce mediation can give both parties a chance to pause, consider and be educated on the very real legal process they are about to embark upon. Although not the goal of the session, it’s not uncommon for couples with only minor issues to actually resolve them altogether at an initial consultation. Sometimes all it takes is some education.