Marriage stands as one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the world, traditionally designed to unite a man and woman into a household that can bear children. Some nations today have also recognized same-sex marriage, and same-sex households are often known to adopt children. But another trend is increasing rates of divorce, and a divorce may call for all kinds of services such as divorce mediators, divorce attorneys, child custody lawyers, and more. Divorce mediation is an option for fairly straightforward and simple marriages, while a more messy and high-stakes divorce may call for divorce lawyers and a court of law. What is there to know about divorce mediators and mediation? Or when do the spouses need the aid of lawyers?
Why Divorce Happens
Many statistics in the United States track marriage in the United States, as well as divorce. Among the most common causes for divorce is infidelity, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other and is somehow discovered doing this. Both men and women cheat, though not always for the same reasons, and discovering an affair can be a real emotional blow. If counseling cannot save the marriage, than divorce may be next. Other households divorce because one spouse is physically, verbally, or even sexually abusive toward other members of the household. One spouse may be abusing drugs or alcohol, which can result in a huge financial strain, loss of a job, personality changes, and more.
Not all divorces are like this, however. Many Americans get divorced simply because the two spouses realize that they are not so compatible after all, or they may realize that they have very different lifestyles and spending habits. It is also possible that the two spouses lose interest in each other, and no longer love each other enough to sustain their relationship and marriage. So, they end it.
Hiring Divorce Mediator
Some marriages may be expensive, high-stakes affairs with lawyers, child custody lawyers, and a court. Others are not. Two spouses may hire divorce mediators if they can handle the divorce on their own, without the intervention and expertise of lawyers and the time and effort of going to court. Divorcing couples may call for divorce mediators if their divorce is simple enough to negotiate personally. For example, perhaps the marriage is young, and there are no children or large bank accounts or vacation homes to fight over. That, or the two spouses have fairly similar ideas on how to handle the divorce and thus don’t need to use lawyers to fight over everything. A mediator is a neutral third party whose job is to draw out productive and fair ideas from each spouse, and keep the negotiations running smoothly. The mediator might also act as a referee of sorts, though this mediator will not offer their own ideas and opinions unless asked first. It may also be noted that mediators are typically much cheaper and private to use than divorce lawyers and court, which may appeal to the spouses.
Many simpler divorce cases only call for divorce mediators, but for other divorces, some lawyers will be called upon. This may happen if the two spouses have very different ideas on what the divorce should look like, and this may happen if one spouse wanted divorce but the other did not. In some cases, if there is abuse present, the abused spouse may relocate to another, private residence with their children and only interact with their other spouse through their lawyer. A spouse may turn to local divorce law firms and consult the attorneys working there (this may or may not incur a fee) and hire one, then file divorce papers. The other spouse may hire a lawyer of their own to represent their interests, and the two lawyers will use the law to negotiate the divorce’s terms on behalf of their respective clients. This may include fighting over a house, cars, bank accounts, or even family heirlooms and jewelry.
If one or more children under age 18 are involved, child custody lawyers may be hired to decide who gets custody of those children. If the child is age 12 or over, he or she may also speak privately with the divorce court’s judge about their living arrangement preferences.