Many people feel swept along by the process of divorce because they have very little control over what happens. If you file for a contested divorce, it will be the judge who decides how to split up your property and also what happens with parenting time for your children.
If you have unresolved issues from your marriage, that doesn’t mean your only option is to have a judge set all the terms for your divorce. Uncontested divorces are still possible for those who don’t agree with their spouse on key issues but are willing to go through mediation to resolve their disputes. Mediation can be an empowering decision during a divorce.
The mediator does not fulfill the same role as a judge
In standard contested divorce proceedings, a judge makes the big decisions. They determine what is fair and make a ruling based on their interpretation of the family’s circumstances. The potential exists for them to misinterpret these circumstances — a risk that makes many people nervous.
Unlike a judge, a mediator does not have the authority to set specific terms. Their goal is simply to help divorcing spouses cooperate with one another and compromise. Spouses still maintain the final decision-making authority during mediation.
You can set your own priorities and choose when to compromise
In a contested divorce where the judge makes custody terms and property division rulings, your priorities and wishes may go completely ignored. You can ask for specific terms and considerations, but the judge makes all of the final decisions.
During divorce mediation, you can revisit the most important issues to you as frequently as necessary to secure a positive outcome. You can choose to compromise in areas that affect you less and push more firmly for terms that you feel strongly about, like how you split up your parenting time. Although mediation does require cooperation and communication with your spouse, the result is often a divorce that meets your goals.