For those who wish to minimize court fees and also want to keep the peace as much as possible, Mediation offers a viable alternative. While it isn’t for everyone, this divorce process involves a single third party acting as a mediator. This person does not necessarily have to be a lawyer, but it is highly recommended that they are in order to make sure all legal ground is covered.
Regardless of who actually brings in the mediator, they act as a neutral throughout the process in order to help each party reach terms they can agree to (rather than giving either one the upper hand). Ideally, this keeps the divorce as fair and straightforward as possible. The goal is to keep the entire process out of the courtroom in order to avoid excess fees and unnecessary drama. This can also help expedite the process and make things a bit easier on family members (especially when it comes to children). In fact, mediators are not permitted to testify in court.
Whether or not the mediator is a lawyer, it is important that both parties consult with their own attorneys prior to actually signing any final divorce agreement. Even so, Mediation results in successful closures about 50 percent of the time. Mediation may not be a good choice for divorcing couples who are fighting frequently and finding it difficult to agree on finance and custody decisions. Because the mediator is primarily focused on both parties reaching an agreement, this process may also not be the right for individuals who have a hard time speaking up for what they want.