Getting a divorce is never an easy thing, but there are ways to help better ensure as smooth a process as possible. One option: mediation. Mediation is a legal process in the state of Hawaii that uses a neutral third party, called a mediator, to help guide the discussions needed to finalize a divorce. When finished, the divorcing couple can have a legally enforceable divorce agreement or can choose to continue through the traditional court process, referred to as litigation.
How does mediation work?
Although the exact process will vary for each couple, there are some common factors generally present. As noted above, a mediator guides the discussion. Hawaiian state law allows for the use of mediation in all sorts of legal disputes, so it is helpful to find a mediator with experience in the chosen area of law. In these cases, it helps to look for someone with experience mediating divorce cases.
Once a mediator is chosen, the divorcing couple and mediator can set up a schedule for meetings. These meetings will address a variety of issues, such as property division and spousal support as well as child custody and child support if children are present.
Why should I consider mediation?
There are a number of benefits to mediation when compared to traditional litigation. First, as noted above, you generally have more control over your schedule because the divorcing couple work with a mediator’s calendar instead of the court’s calendar. This can also make the process move forward in a timelier and less expensive manner.
Mediation also allows for greater control over the final settlement agreement because you help write and negotiate the document.
It is important to note that mediation does not work for all divorces. Those that have an imbalance of power or history of abuse may do best using traditional litigation.