From unemployment and financial strain to illness of loved ones to homeschooling kids, COVID-19 hasn’t been easy on anyone. But dealing with all this while stuck together 24/7 during quarantine has simply been too much for some relationships to bear. That’s why it may come as no surprise that the number of people seeking divorce was 34 percent higher from March through June compared to 2019 according to Legal Templates. If you’re also considering divorce or in the middle of one during the pandemic, see how mediation can make the process easier.
In mediation, you and your spouse enlist a neutral third party to help you resolve issues such as distribution of assets, child custody, child support and alimony. It can be an alternative to the formal process of litigation in divorce court as long as both of you want to negotiate and you are able to reach an amicable agreement.
Keep in mind the mediator does not resolve issues for you and your spouse. Rather they act as an intermediary to offer opinions, brainstorm solutions and guide you in communicating effectively as well as to keep you focused and on track.
How Mediation Can Help Before Divorce
When should you begin mediation? Ideally once you decide to divorce, but before you file. There are several advantages to this:
- Less Confrontational – Because you’re working together to resolve issues versus one spouse taking legal action against the other. Plus, the more civil mediation process can help preserve the relationship going forward especially if children are involved.
- Quicker Resolution – Resolving all important issues before filling for divorce means you’re not at the court’s mercy as to when they can fit you in. And you may only have one court date instead of many.
- More Cost-Effective – Streamlining the process means your divorce lawyer(s) will spending less time on the case allowing you to save on expensive legal fees.
How Mediation Helps During Divorce
Even after you’ve filed for divorce mediation is still an option, and perhaps even a requirement in many cases. Benefits include:
- More Control – Instead of a judge or divorce lawyers determining your future, in mediation the control lies with you and your spouse. What’s more, you’re both more likely to stick to a mutually agreeable outcome.
- More Privacy – No one wants their dirty laundry aired in court. Instead of becoming public record, the mediation process is confidential which can benefit the entire family.
- Leveling the Playing Field – There’s no winner or loser in mediation, you work until you come to a resolution that’s fair to both parties. Plus, the mediator is an objective third party which makes the environment more comfortable for everyone.
Online Mediation Services During COVID-19
Beyond the benefits of mediation in general, online mediation services have become a lifeline for those divorcing during COVID-19. First of all, lockdowns earlier in the year brought divorce litigation to a halt and even as courts reopen the backlog means huge delays. Online mediation services provide an alternative to keep the process moving forward. Plus, it allows you to social distance which is safer for everyone. Not to mention, online mediation services add some welcome flexibility and convenience to the often unbearably difficult divorce process.
For more information on online mediation services, contact Mediated Online Solutions’ experienced mediation team today to learn more.