Divorce is generally portrayed as a hostile, drawn out process that leaves both spouses emotionally drained. There is another option, though. For many people in Maryland, mediation offers a quicker, less hostile approach to ending a marriage.
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution in which a divorcing couple sits down with a mediator — a neutral third party — to work out the details of their divorce settlement. Unlike judges presiding over divorce cases, mediators do not have any authority to make binding decisions. Instead, they help guide negotiations through what can be fairly difficult topics, like property division.
There are many advantages to using mediation instead of a traditional lawsuit. For example, mediation can generally be wrapped up in a matter of weeks, although high asset or complex divorces might take somewhat longer. In addition to avoiding court fees and certain other expenses, this shorter time frame is one of the reasons that mediation also generally costs less than more traditional approaches to divorce.
Using mediation is also helpful for preserving important relationships. Traditional divorce is designed to keep both spouses separate and feeds into a win or lose mindset. Mediation allows for compromise, meaning that divorcing couples can usually protect their business and personal relationships.
Mediation can be a smart choice for many Maryland couples, but some may be worried about trying to compromise with soon-to-be ex-spouses. This is understandable, it also overlooks the fact that the mediator will also be present during the process. Many people also choose to have their own lawyers present during sessions, finding it helpful to have someone present who can advocate for their rights.