Whether one is just going through the divorce process or has been down that road and needs to modify some terms of a divorce settlement, one may think that going to court is the only way to reach a resolution. Thankfully, Michigan residents have other options when it comes to marriage dissolution and term modifications. Most family law matters can be settled through mediation.

What exactly is mediation? What are the benefits of going this route? What happens if it does not work? These are all questions one might have when first considering the mediation process.

Mediation is simply a negotiations process. A couple meets in a neutral setting with a mediator in order to figure out a solution to the problem at hand. If just going through a divorce, full settlement terms may be reached. If a post-divorce concerns arise, such as issues with child custody or financial support, those areas can be revisited and new terms created.

The benefits of mediation are that it typically saves a couple time and money, it also gives them control and privacy. Going to trial, on the other hand, can be costly, time-consuming and a matter of public record. It also allows a judge to make important decisions that may not be to the family’s benefit.

Mediation works in most cases, but it is not for everyone. If a couple starts mediation and finds that it is not proving effective, it is possible to take the issue to court. An attorney with experience mediating and litigating family law issues would be a good resource for Michigan residents who need assistance with divorce and post-divorce matters.