Is Your Michigan Divorce Too Complicated for Mediation?
Divorce has the capacity to be extremely contentious. Even if no one person is at fault for the irreconcilable differences that lead to divorce, the act of separating two lives – splitting one household into two, dividing assets and debts, and determining the best living situation for children – can definitely lead to disputes, hurt feelings, and a protracted legal battle.
In some cases, couples are able to conduct amicable divorce proceedings with the help of a mediator, saving time and money as a result. How does this work in the Michigan court system? Are there cases too complicated for mediation, and if so, what are your options? Here’s what you need to know going into divorce proceedings.
What is Divorce Mediation?
If you’re worried about arguing your case in front of a judge and having to live with his/her ruling, you’ll be happy to learn that the mediation process puts the majority of decision-making power in the hands of you and your spouse, supposing you can come to some kind of amicable agreement. The main function of a mediator is to guide you and your spouse through this process and help you find common ground.
Mediators have the skill and experience to facilitate respectful and productive negotiations so that spouses, even those who may not agree, can come to an arrangement that suits them both. This process can involve lawyers representing each party, as well as experts like accountants, financial advisors, and even child advocates that provide information and help to create beneficial financial and parenting plans, just for example.
Is Your Case Too Complex for Mediation?
To be honest, it’s not really a matter of whether or not a case is “too complicated” for mediation. In any given marriage, there are only a finite number of things linking two people together, from assets and debts, to children, to business interests, for example. Mediators are trained to help couples determine the best ways to separate their lives, occasionally with input from legal, financial, and other experts.
What could make a case to complex for mediation is an unwillingness or inability by one or both parties to compromise and come to an agreement. In some cases, extenuating circumstances may play a role, such as if there are allegations of spousal or child abuse involved, or other criminal acts. Generally speaking, however, if there is no threat of danger to either party, mediation can proceed.
If mediation is not an option due to criminal behavior, danger to either party, or a simple unwillingness by one or both parties to participate, there is only one real option, and that is to litigate the divorce in the courtroom setting. This is bound to be a lengthy and expensive process, which is why mediation is generally considered preferable, but if mediation just won’t work, allowing the courts to decide on division of assets, spousal support, child custody, and child support is the only option.
If you’re interested in divorce mediation, it’s best to consult with a lawyer and retain legal representation. Contact the qualified professionals at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 to get started.
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