Providing Creative Solutions For Your Legal Needs

Why families with more to fight over may benefit from mediation

On Behalf of | Feb 21, 2024 | Mediation

Divorce often inspires people who previously shared everything to fight intensely over seemingly small details. The way that people react emotionally to a divorce can sometimes lead to irrational levels of conflict if people do not plan carefully.

One of the tools that married couples in West Michigan sometimes use to limit the challenges of an upcoming divorce is mediation. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which spouses sit down with a mediator and their own lawyers to try to negotiate a cooperative settlement. Particularly for those in higher-income and higher-asset households, mediation could be a smart addition to traditional divorce proceedings.

How mediation can help

Couples who share more resources with one another have more reason to fight during their divorce proceedings. After all, much is left open to interpretation under Michigan’s equitable distribution rules.  From the equity in a Forest Hills home to a shared interest in a family business, there are many high-ticket items that could trigger significant conflict during divorce negotiations.

Spouses who can’t settle property division matters often end up paying quite a bit to litigate. Mediation gives spouses an opportunity to preserve as much of their marital estate as possible by working out a property settlement compromise before going to court.

Not only does mediation give people a chance to set their own terms and minimize their divorce costs, but it can also help them protect their privacy. Neither spouse has to share embarrassing details about the marital relationship in court because they can discuss those matters in a confidential mediation session instead.

Issues about someone hiding certain debts, wasting money on a gambling habit or conducting an affair could come into play during property division. If people have a chance to discuss those issues in the privacy of mediation, they do not have to make such embarrassing details part of the public record around their divorce.

Especially when people are in high-profile professions and worry about how the details of the divorce might affect their reputations, attempting to resolve property division disagreements in mediation can help diminish the lasting impact that a divorce could have on someone’s earning potential and finances.