Making the decision to file for divorce is the first of many choices. Often times, it’s the easiest.
What to do with the home? Do you move out?
Who is responsible to pay off that credit card?
Dividing retirement? That seems like years away…
Where do the kids live?
How do Saturday soccer matches impact weekend visitation?
These are the first of many life-changing choices. And in divorce, these issues are often decided all at once: either in the courtroom, by the judge, or a conference room, by the parties.
In 2019, my cases settled 71% percent of the time at mediation. Resulting in my winning The Mediation Center of the Coastal Empire’s Award for the highest settlement rate for family law cases. For the past three years, attorneys at The Manely Firm, P.C. have been honored with this award.
It’s because we value the power and importance of you making those decisions for you and your family. No one can know your life, your kids, or your finances as well as you. No one.
I can try a case before the judge and distill your marriage, struggles, and fights into a few hours of testimony and a stack of exhibits- but it will only scratch the surface of the issues that led you to the courtroom. And once it is all said and done, the decision is out of your control.
In contrast, mediation is the opportunity to take stock of what is important, evaluate what’s worth compromising on, and balance the responsibilities. By nature, mediation necessitates sitting down and assessing your values and needs, then evaluating those needs alongside those of your spouse’s.
Ideally, mediation allows you to customize your divorce to fit your family. It gives you back that power and control over what is most important to you: your life.
Divorce is already one of the most stressful and difficult situations a person, and their children, can live through. Now, couple that with the sheer uncertainty of what a judge will say, do, and believe. It is why I advocate to my clients the importance of mediation. It’s why we settle more often than not. Because, it’s your opportunity to seize the outcome, solution, and settlement you and your family need. It is a lot easier to live with the result you helped carefully craft and create. It is certainly a lot easier to co-parent that way.
Your life, your family, your children, and your fiances are too important and unique to give up the opportunity to choose your future.