Under the best of circumstances, divorce is a stressful process. When couples litigate issues before a judge, the emotional toll and the expense increase exponentially. Fortunately, there are ways to simplify your divorce and reduce costs, while still achieving your goals for your future. For many couples, mediation is a useful tool for removing impediments to a settlement on important issues, such as child custody, child support, spousal support and the division of marital property. At Dakin & Benelli PC, our experienced attorneys have the knowledge and skill to guide you through the mediation process toward a mutually acceptable, cost-effective resolution of your most contentious divorce issues.
The best way to control costs during divorce is to negotiate a settlement agreement of all the ancillary issues and present it to the court for approval. Even if you don’t achieve a complete agreement, you can settle most issues and hold the remaining points over for trial. When traditional negotiations fail to resolve disputes over custody, support or property division, many couples go to mediation. Mediation offers the following benefits:
Mediation has proven so useful that several states have enacted mandatory mediation before the court will schedule a hearing. In states where mediation is not automatic, a judge may order mediation before placing the case on the court calendar.
Forms of mediation differ slightly from state to state, but in all jurisdictions an impartial third party, the mediator, meets with the spouses to work out a voluntary agreement. Over the course of several sessions, the mediator listens to the spouses, assesses the issues before them, and guides them toward a mutually acceptable resolution. However, the mediator cannot impose an agreement on the couple. If mediation fails, unresolved issues are held for trial.
Before you consider mediation, you should speak with an attorney with experience in this process. Mediators are not allowed to dispense legal advice, and, in fact, many divorce mediators throughout the country are not even attorneys so they might not fully understand the legal implications of a proposed settlement. At Dakin & Benelli PC, we help to ensure that you are fully prepared for your mediation sessions. We review your progress, we carefully scrutinize all proposed agreements and draft counter proposals that protect your rights.
Mediation can speed your divorce process, reduce your stress and control costs. Dakin & Benelli PC helps clients in Chester and throughout Vermont realize the full benefits of mediation. To schedule a consultation, call us at 802-316-4458 or contact our Chester office online.