Is Mediation Better Than The Court Process For Handling A Divorce?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution, meaning it is a process by which parties have the option of settling their case without going to trial. Mediation is mandatory prior to trial, but participating does not mean that couples are giving up their right to a trial. Rather, they are simply trying to settle the case beforehand, so that a trial is not necessary. There are many advantages to meaningfully engaging in mediation to try to settle your case, including but not limited to saving all of the time, money, and stress that usually accompanies going to trial. It can also be very helpful in protecting the best interests of children whose parents are going through the divorce process for their parents to avoid a trial, as the longer the process goes on, the more stressful on children things can become. All in all, mediation is an excellent alternative to trial for multiple reasons and is a valuable opportunity for couples to conclude the stressful process of divorce.
However, some issues cannot be resolved by agreement, in which case a trial, wherein a judge decides the outcome, will be necessary. In some cases, if a party feels that the facts are heavily on his or her side, it may be advantageous to proceed to trial, where the likelihood of a favorable outcome appears to be high. However, the flip side of this is that outcomes in family court are almost never guaranteed, and one always runs the risk of an unfavorable result when taking a gamble and proceeding to the trial stage. I always recommend that clients take full advantage of the mediation opportunity, but if no agreement that is adequately fair to my client can be reached, then it can be beneficial and/or necessary to proceed on to litigating the contested issues.
What Might Be Some Reasons That Someone Seeks A Modification After A Divorce Has Been Finalized?
Most issues resolved in Final Orders of divorce are not modifiable once the Order has been signed. However, issues involving the best interests of children, such as child custody, visitation, and support, may be modified upon a showing of substantial change in circumstances. For example, if child support is set when a child is still young enough to require daycare, a party paying child support might want to seek a modification when the child becomes old enough to attend school, and daycare expenses are no longer a factor. A paying party should also seek to modify a child support order if one of their children reaches the age of majority, meaning that payment for that child should no longer be due. Similarly, if one party experiences and drastic increase or decrease in income, this can also potentially justify a modification in the amount of child support payments.
Changes in custody might be sought in cases where the primary custodial parent’s ability to parent has become compromised in some way that may place the child at risk. Potential reasons for this can include mental illness, substance abuse, or any other significant change that could mean that the noncustodial parent has become a more appropriate primary custodian. If you feel that circumstances have changed since your original divorce order was issued, such that anything involving your child should be changed, you should always consult a family lawyer about pursuing these changes.
For more information on Mediation Vs. Court Process In Divorce, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.