Divorce mediation may benefit Maryland families

Maryland couples who find that their marriages are simply no longer functioning in a healthy way may find it useful to consider all of their options as far as divorce proceedings go. The United States recently observed Mediation Week, which offered an opportunity to learn more about divorce mediation. This process allows divorcing couples to resolve conflict between them by involving a neutral mediator to help foster communication and reach a mutually-satisfactory agreement between both parties.

Divorce mediation can be less costly in terms of time, money and emotional stress than a more adversarial type of divorce proceeding. When emotions run high, a neutral and trained facilitator can help people look past their own emotions to focus on the end goal of achieving an agreement that is agreeable to all parties. One couple who were at odds over their child custody visitation schedule went through 18 months of court visits to haggle over changes to the schedule before trying out mediation instead. After just a few hours, they were able to reach a revised schedule that suited both them and their children's needs.

Critics of mediation sometimes say that it detracts from the civil law process. Considering how overburdened and underfunded that many courts can be, mediation can prove a great alternative for couples who believe that they can use it to reach a timelier and mutually beneficial arrangement. Spouses who try out mediation also lose nothing in the event that they can't reach an agreement since they can always file in court later, if need be.

Divorce mediation can benefit Maryland families by helping promote communication between splitting spouses. One of its biggest advantages is the fact that it can protect children from the greater conflict that often surrounds more contentious courtroom proceedings. Spouses who are able to set aside their own personal emotions and work toward an amicable and equitable mediation often find that it sets the family up for greater success and stability moving forward.

Source: DemocratandChronicle.com, "An alternative to going to court," Laurel G. Bellows, Oct. 18, 2012