Divorce is always difficult. Not only is it an emotional time for the family, but dealing with the terms of the divorce is also challenging. The couple must divide their property, decide on terms such as child custody and child support, and perhaps even address issues pertaining to alimony. All of this can breed contempt between the two parties.
However, when both parties can work together to come to a mutual agreement on the terms of the divorce, there are other options. Many couples in this situation find that mediation is a quicker and easier solution compared to the lengthy process of litigation.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a process that allows divorcing couples to meet with a mediator to resolve the most common issues pertaining to divorce. The mediator is a neutral third-party. Although many mediators are attorneys, many are non-attorneys. Regardless, the mediator is not there to provide legal advice - they simply try and bring the divorcing spouses to an agreement suitable to them both.
During the mediation process, the couple will discuss all terms of the divorce, including property division and child custody. If the couple can agree on the terms, the mediator will draft an agreement for the parties to execute and submit to the courts. Although mediation doesn’t take place in a courtroom, once the agreement has been approved by a judge, the terms within that agreement are final.
Benefits of Mediation Over Litigation
When many people think of divorce, they imagine a couple battling it out in the courtroom. This is how many divorces unfold, but not all have to go through this process. When the couple can remain respectful and honest, as well as communicate with each other effectively, mediation has many benefits over divorce litigation.
The first is that mediation takes only a fraction of the time that litigation does. While a divorce taking place in the courtroom can drag on for several months, mediation can take as few as one or two sessions to finalize a divorce. This could mean that a divorce is finalized much quicker, although parties will still have to wait out the 90-day waiting period Oklahoma requires from the date of filing if there are minor children, or 10-day waiting period if there are no minor children.
Another big benefit to mediation is the fact that it’s much more affordable than a litigated divorce. While the average cost of a divorce in Oklahoma is $18,700, mediation can cost as little as $1,500 to $3,000. This is the total for the entire process, and most couples choose to split the cost, reducing it even further for each side.
Considering Divorce? Talk to an Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer About Your Options
Divorce is always challenging, but there are times when it is a little easier. Mediation is often the answer when the terms of the divorce are not complicated, or when the couple is willing to work together. Unlike what many think when going through mediation, you should still speak to a divorce lawyer in Oklahoma City who can help ensure the final agreement is favorable.
If you’re considering divorce, call Banks, Gillett, Gillett, PLLC at (405) 607-4800. We’ll explain all of the options you have available to you, and help you determine which one is best for your situation. Mediation offers many benefits, but it doesn’t work for everybody. Call us today or fill out our online form for your free consultation to learn more.