In a perfect world, love would last forever, and every marriage would truly be a “till death do us part” affair. In the real world, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce, and many of those separations are anything but amicable.
If you and your spouse find yourselves at loggerheads and unable to continue in the relationship, developing a smart and fair strategy for the separation is an essential first step. Unfortunately, arriving at that fair and equitable separation agreement is easier said than done, especially when passions are running high and accusations and counterarguments are running wild.
The Value of Mediation
That is why professional mediation should be a part of every separation. The ability to see things from an impartial point of view and look at the situation with an unjaundiced eye is vital, and that is what professional mediation is all about.
Even in a friendly separation, it is not unusual for the two parties to see things very differently. Arriving at a just resolution when each spouse is blaming the other is extremely difficult, but a skilled mediator will be able to get to the bottom of the situation and find out what is really going on.
Without taking sides, a skilled mediator can help the two parties see things more clearly, creating a better and fairer environment for ongoing negotiations over marital assets, the custody of minor children and ongoing spousal support. There are many reasons to consider professional mediation in every marital separation, and those reasons are outlined in the sections below.
Avoiding Unnecessary Conflict
Every separation, even the most amicable, is bound to have some level of conflict. Even when the soon to be ex-spouses get along, they will likely disagree on a number of issues.
From the division of the assets accumulated during the marriage and the disposition of pre-existing investments and retirement funds to where the children will live and how they will be supported once the divorce is final, these disagreements can quickly spiral out of control and create an even higher level of conflict.
By bringing in a professional mediator early in the process, a great deal of this unnecessary conflict can be avoided. The earlier the mediator is brought into the separation, the better, since the presence of an impartial third party can make all the difference at this critical time.
Some level of conflict is inevitable when dealing with a separation, but that does not mean the conflict should be allowed to spiral out of control. Seeking the advice and guidance of a professional mediator early on can make all the difference for both parties in the separation, and the sooner this advice is sought, the better off everyone will be.
Protecting the Children
There are many issues to consider when a marriage turns into a separation, but no issue is as important as the welfare of the children. When there are minor children to consider, extra care must be taken, and the active participation of a third-party mediator will be absolutely essential.
From letting the children know that the separation is not their fault to easing their fears about what will happen next, both parties in the separation have a lot of responsibilities. Bringing a professional mediator into the process during the earliest stages of the separation can once again make all the difference, but this time the stakes are even higher.
Since the professional mediator has no direct interest in the children, he or she can be a truly impartial observer. Instead of flinging accusations back and forth and debating parenting methods, the mediator will simply look at the situation as it stands and make a recommendation about the care and custody of the minors going forward. The impartiality of the mediator will be absolutely critical here, and resolving these kinds of family law disputes is what experienced mediators do best.
Less Expensive in the Long Run
Some newly separated couples may worry that mediation will cost too much, or that bringing a mediator in too soon will limit their legal rights down the line. Nothing could be further from the truth, and engaging an experienced mediator early on could actually be far less costly in the long run.
Separated couples seeking affordable legal advice in Arkansas often find that engaging the services of a professional mediator is the best way to lower costs while achieving a fair and equitable division of the marital assets. Far from being an expensive option, working with a quality mediator is actually a great way to lower the costs associated with family law, divorce, separation and the division of marital assets.
A Fair and Just Conclusion
No matter what the reason for the separation and impending divorce, the desired end result should always be the same. Once it is clear that the marriage is over and divorce is just over the horizon, the two parties should work hard to develop a fair and equitable division of the marital assets.
Even more importantly, the end goal of the separation agreement should be the best interests of the children involved. Caring for the children is the responsibility of both parents, whether or not they will continue to live together or operate as a couple.
Once again, engaging the services of a professional mediator can be a huge help, especially during the early stages of the separation. During those early stages, emotions are often running high, and those high emotions can spill over into the division of the marital assets. Instead of simply blaming one another for the separation and trying to get as much as they can, both parties should take a step back, take a deep breath, and engage the services of an impartial mediator.
An experienced mediator will be able to remain impartial no matter what precipitated the separation or what the current state of the negotiations may be. As experts in family law and fair negotiations, the mediator will be able to help both parties understand what is at stake.
Just as importantly, the mediator will be able to provide affordable legal advice in Arkansas, helping both sides in the separation understand their rights and responsibilities. Using the services of an impartial third-party mediator will be good for everyone, and those services should be an integral part of any separation, no matter how contentious or amicable.