You and your former spouse may agree that divorce is in the best interest of everyone involved. You may even agree on some or all of the terms. However, there are probably still some issues, like division of assets or child custody, that you can't agree on. Many couples start out considering an uncontested divorce but end up in a protracted court battle when they fail to agree on terms for the divorce. You don't have to let that happen to your family. If you and your former spouse are sure that divorce is in your future but you're struggling with the details, it may be time to consider mediation.
Mediation is a guided process facilitated by a neutral third party. Ideally, you and your former spouse will both have your own attorney as well to advocate on your behalf. That ensures that everything in the proceedings is as fair and reasonable as possible. Everyone sits down together to discuss options and reach a mutually agreeable compromise for issues you can't resolve on your own. Although both you and your former spouse will be expected to compromise, mediation still offers you both much more control over the final terms of the divorce than hashing out your issues in court.
Mediation can be a cheaper, more healing option
When you engage in mediation, you and your former spouse don't have to discuss the reason for the end of the marriage (unless it pertains to claims about custody or assets). Still, talking through both of your needs, preferences and desired outcomes can help you both feel better about the process of divorce. Mediation can help you see one other in more human terms again, and may make it easier for you to co-parent after your divorce is finalized.
Even more importantly, mediation shields your marital children from the worst of the pain and drama of divorce court. Your children won't have to testify at mediation or choose to take sides in the divorce. Your children will also be spared the testimony discussing the faults and flaws of their parents, which are common in protracted, contentious divorces. If mediation resolves your issues and you're able to complete an uncontested divorce, you will be setting an amazing example for your children about how to handle conflict and treat one another with respect and dignity.
Legal advice is important in any divorce
Just because you and your former spouse agree about things at the beginning of the process doesn't mean issues won't arise. The best way to protect yourself, your interests and your financial future is to retain the services of an experienced Maryland divorce attorney. Your attorney can represent you during the necessary court hearing and ensure you receive fair treatment during the mediation process.