There’s no escaping it -- divorce is an unhappy process for everyone involved, the divorcing couple, their children, their families. It is hard emotionally and it is hard financially.
Emotionally, the conflict that comes with divorce can wear on everyone involved, and everyone will probably go through a full range of unwelcome feelings, rage, anger, grief, sadness, depression. Divorce is, unavoidably, a loss for everyone involved
Financially, divorcing couples will be supporting two households with the same income that formerly supported only one. Financial loss and diminished lifestyles are practically unavoidable. Divorce mediation is a way, perhaps the best way, to minimize both the emotional and financial impact of divorce.
Mediation is a process in which both parties agree to do their best to set aside past grievances and hurts in order to work out a mutually acceptable agreement that will become part of their divorce decree. Doing so mindfully and respectfully helps both parties to avoid getting bogged down in punishing the other person and to look out for their own interests in a clear-headed way.
Mediation has many advantages over negotiation through attorneys or going through a trial:
- You retain control over your divorce agreement rather than taking whatever a judge might impose or your attorneys may be able to negotiate.
- You avoid the emotional wear and tear of going back and forth with offers and counteroffers through your attorneys or, even worse, going through a trial before a judge.
- You save the cost of attorneys’ fees involved in negotiating an agreement or, again even worse, going through a trial.
- If you have children, you can lessen the emotional and financial impact on them while mediating a sound, supportive parenting plan.
- You can tailor your agreement to fit your specific financial and child-raising situation, in as much detail as necessary, instead of ending up with the broad-brush, one-size-fits-all approach of a negotiated agreement or court-imposed decree.
- You can arrange the mediation process to fit your schedule, and you can avoid the delays of crowded court dockets and the offer/counteroffer negotiation process.
About the Mediator:
The Employee Assistance and Counseling Center’s family mediator, John Quenelle, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Professional Counselor. He has been in the marriage and family therapy and counseling professions since 1991, and he is a registered mediator with the Alabama Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Before becoming a therapist, John practiced law for ten years. However, in the mediation process, the mediator does not give legal advice. You will be urged to retain and consult your own attorney.
How to Begin the Process:
Simply call: 205-934-2281 and tell the receptionist that you would like to schedule an appointment to begin divorce mediation. Mediation sessions are typically two hours each, with as many sessions as necessary to reach an agreement.
You will be mailed some forms to complete and return or bring with you to your first session, as well as some additional information about mediation.
The cost of mediation is $50 per hour, payable at each session.
If you believe mediation is the better way for you and your family, call 205-934-2281to schedule the first session or for further information.