Couples preparing for divorce in Minnesota generally have many different options available. They may have already negotiated a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement outlining what should occur during the divorce. They can also potentially collaborate with one another to settle matters outside of court and file an uncontested divorce.
If they struggle to compromise, they might believe that litigation is their best option. Minnesota family law judges have the authority to divide parental rights and responsibilities, order financial support and split up marital property between the spouses. However, litigation is unpredictable and potentially expensive.
Many people prefer to avoid litigation, especially when they share minor children with their spouses. Mediation is one of the tools that can help people currently disagreeing with their spouses about divorce resolve matters for an uncontested filing.
Mediation keeps everything private
The public nature of divorce proceedings can create numerous issues for families with children. The children may sometimes attend hearings, and they may even need to give input regarding their personal preferences on custody matters. Additionally, they might eventually request records from the court case that could expose details about their parents’ personal lives they never knew before.
Parents may feel like they need to shy away from the truth for their children during litigation, but that isn’t necessary during mediation. Minnesota law makes mediation a confidential process. Whatever people share in mediation remains private and is not part of the public record the way that court testimony would be.
Mediation can reduce overall conflict
Parents waiting months to talk about property division or custody in family court may have intense emotions that they occasionally need to vent. Those feelings might boil over at unpredictable moments during custody exchanges or special events for the children. When parents know that mediation is imminent and that they have an opportunity to advocate for themselves, they may have an easier time controlling their emotions and limiting how much conflict the children witness.
Mediation requires communication and compromise
Divorcing Minnesota spouses sometimes employ scorched earth strategies that cause irreparable damage to their relationships. If they share children with each other, this approach can be particularly problematic. Couples mediating divorce matters have to work with one another. They need to find ways to communicate in a healthy and productive manner. The goal of the process is to reach a settlement, which is likely a compromise for both spouses. The process of mediation can therefore help people learn how to interact with one another in a healthy manner again after the personal challenges that led to their divorce.
Mediation can potentially take a lot of the stress off of the parents in a family and shield the children from the worst aspects of a contested divorce. As such, attempting divorce mediation could be beneficial for those worried about how divorce may impact their children.