If you are considering divorce in Oklahoma City, knowing what the entire divorce process entails and the obstacles you are likely to face can make it easier. An Oklahoma City divorce attorney can review the specifics of your case and provide you with a rough idea of what to expect from your divorce proceedings. The majority of divorce attorneys will recommend mediation whenever possible.
Litigation is not the only answer to divorce. If you are dreading an emotionally charged court battle, rest assured that this is not the only method of ending your marital contract. It’s important to understand what divorce mediation is and how it works, so you can approach your divorce with more information and greater confidence. When used correctly, divorce mediation can expedite the divorce process and allow a divorcing couple to have more control over the outcome of their divorce.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation, also commonly called collaborative divorce, requires divorcing spouses to meet privately under the supervision of a neutral third-party mediator. There are both private and court-appointed mediators, and a mediator’s main job is to facilitate healthy negotiations between a divorcing couple. The mediator will keep the conversation on track and answer any legal questions the couple might have. Mediators can also clarify state laws and statutes to ensure the divorcing couple’s agreement is legally enforceable.
During mediation sessions, the divorcing spouses will negotiate all aspects of their divorce privately instead of leaving major decisions like property division, child custody, and child support in the hands of the court. They can also develop a much more personalized divorce agreement than what strict legal statutes might allow.
Mediation Means a Faster, Cheaper Divorce
Litigation for any civil matter can stretch for months or even years in some cases. Depending on the complexity of the case, divorce litigation can be an extremely expensive and time-consuming process for everyone involved. Divorce mediation allows a divorcing couple to skip the time and expense that litigation demands and reach a mutual divorce agreement on their own time while saving substantial amounts of money in legal fees.
If they reach an agreement within a few sessions, they can speed up the divorce process significantly. If the mediator deems the divorce agreement sound and enforceable, the couple must then submit it to a judge for final review and approval. This all usually takes a fraction of the time required for litigation.
Maintain Control of Your Divorce
When you litigate your divorce in court, the judge overseeing the case will have the final say when it comes to property division, custody of your children, and maintenance. Oklahoma is an equitable distribution state, meaning the judge will strive to divide a divorcing couple’s property as fairly as possible given the facts of the case and each spouse’s claims of ownership over certain assets. The judge must also determine child custody and child support according to Oklahoma state laws and determine a fair amount of spousal support and/or child support.
Mediation allows a divorcing couple to keep control over these major decisions and account for the personal circumstances only they know for a more personalized outcome. If you do not want your divorce left in the hands of a judge beholden to impersonal legal statutes, mediation offers complete control over your divorce proceedings and a much stronger voice in determining the outcome of your divorce.
Keep Your Divorce Private
Any case that goes through civil litigation becomes a matter of public record. While the media may not pay close attention to your individual divorce case, the proceedings from your case will become public record, and anyone can look them up relatively easily. Divorce mediation prevents your proceedings from becoming subject to public scrutiny. As long as your mediator determines that the mutual agreement you and your spouse have reached is legally sound and enforceable, you can effectively prevent your divorce from becoming a public matter.
Reduce Stress Through Mediation
Divorce can be an extremely difficult experience for anyone. Anything you can do to reduce the stress coming from your divorce is a positive thing, and mediation provides you with the opportunity to negotiate your divorce in a relaxed, low-pressure environment. You and your spouse may have your legal representatives attend some or all of your mediation sessions for peace of mind. Ultimately, the mediation experience is far more informal and comfortable than litigation in open court.
What to Expect from Divorce Mediation in Oklahoma City
Every divorce case is different. It is a good idea to speak with an Oklahoma City divorce lawyer about the specifics of your case if you are interested in divorce mediation. This alternative to litigation is possible for most divorce cases. Your attorney can help you understand what to expect from mediating your divorce so you can approach the situation with a firmer understanding of the benefits of collaborative divorce in your case.
Mediation sessions typically take place at a mediator’s office or other neutral location. These sessions may go on as long as the divorcing couple requires to reach mutual agreement on all aspects of their divorce. Their legal representatives will assist with the procedural requirements of filing for divorce with the court. The mediator will assist in drafting the finalized divorce proposal.
Once you and your spouse have reached a mutual agreement through mediation, your respective legal representatives and the mediator may need to refine a few points of the proposed contract to ensure that all parties are satisfied and the proposal is as comprehensive as possible.
Find Answers About Mediation Today
Your divorce case is unique, and only you and your spouse know all of the personal details that could potentially influence your preferences and needs in divorce. Instead of leaving such an important decision in the hands of a judge, you should fully consider the advantages of divorce mediation and encourage a collaborative divorce negotiation with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Speak with an experienced Oklahoma City divorce attorney to learn more about the specific benefits divorce mediation can offer for your case.