Family law courts are usually the ones to make the final decisions regarding how spouses split their assets and even their time with their children when they divorce. However, mediation is often less costly, more effective and can lead to a final resolution more quickly. Maryland spouses who are considering divorce may want to consider mediation as an option.
Mediation can be used for the separation of anything – including business partnerships – but it is used most often in the area of family law. Obviously, results differ based on each individual situation, but the results are often also based on other factors as well. For example, results will vary depending on whether spouses have their detailed financial information readily available, whether spouses show empathy for each other and whether spouses are prepared for the emotional side of divorce.
Using mediation can ultimately save thousands of dollars in legal fees and hours and hours of courtroom time. A mediator will usually start in a room with both spouses and their attorneys and work through as many issues as possible. If needed, he or she can separate the spouses and move back and forth between them to hammer out any details that become contentious.
While some states require mediation before a court date in a divorce or other family law matter, Maryland currently does not and any mediation between spouses is voluntary. Mediation is a good way to hash out the details, but it is suggested that each person still retain his or her own attorney to help with the process. Each couple will then work with the attorneys and the mediator to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Five Strategies to Get a Better Deal in Mediation", Veronica Dagher, March 5, 2015