Was Divorce on Your New Year’s Resolution List?

The holidays are a joyous time for about 50% of couples.  The other 50% are looking at each other secretly wondering, “How do I get out of this marriage” or, “How can I possibly make this work?”  With a divorce rate of over 50%, this internal conversation is inevitable.  The holidays are a time of great stress for individuals considering divorce, and is especially stressful for already-divorced individuals, who are forced to shuffle children between multiple families.  The holidays bring out the best and the worst of us, often shedding light on what makes us happy and fulfilled or sad and empty.

If seeking a divorce or making some other significant change in your family unit is part of your New Year’s Resolution, give some thought to consulting with a certified family law mediator, collaborative lawyer or divorce coach before contacting a litigation-focused attorney to resolve your issues.  Beginning the new year with expensive, emotionally-draining and time-consuming litigation is not a great way to start a fresh new year.   What can mediation do for you?

  • You and your former spouse can design and draft the settlement agreement that suits your needs and lifestyle.  This is an opportunity to be creative, as these agreements can be tailored to your specific situation (not necessarily “legal” issues.)
  • Mediating your disputes customarily results in solutions that have been mutually agreed-upon (win/win), as opposed to solutions that have been imposed by a third-party decision maker (judge or magistrate).  As a bonus, it is typical that people who have agreed to terms on their own during mediation are more likely to comply with their decisions, as opposed to situations where terms have been imposed by a third-party decision maker.
  • Contrasted with often financially-crippling litigation, mediation is a cost-effective means of resolving disputes.
  • Whether you and your former spouse maintain a contentious or amicable relationship, a mediated agreement can be drafted and filed in a matter of days or weeks (versus months or years that it will take if you litigate your case.)
Step into this new year on the right foot, and let go of all of the high-priced drama that so-often accompanies family-related disputes.   Consider using mediation to resolve your problems and make January your new beginning.