If you are contemplating a divorce, you have probably heard the horror stories from family and friends. Most divorces come through a bitter, wrenching process that will leave you feeling emotionally and financially drained. But it simply does not have to be that way.
If you and your spouse are committed to the process, mediation provides an way to work through the details of divorce without the pain and cost of a long fought court battle. It doesn’t matter if there are children involved, either, and many of the most successful examples come from families who put the focus on co-parenting and doing what is best for their children.
The end product of successful mediation is what is called an “uncontested divorce.” That simply means that the entire agreement is presented to the judge as a whole for their approval. If every detail is worked out and agreed to, the judge will only look at it to make sure that Indiana law and the best interests of any children are met.
It is up to the mediation process to produce that agreement, and that is where it can be difficult. But for any couple who are looking to get through the process and on to the next phase of their lives, mediation is not that difficult.
All of your assets are going to be split one way or the other, so if you cannot agree in mediation the court will wind up doing it for you. The main difference with a mediation process is that you and your spouse will have more control over how that happens, should you be able to agree. If you also agree on a co-parenting schedule, there is little else that needs to happen to make an uncontested divorce.
Indiana is a no-fault divorce state, which means that you do not have to have cause for divorce. All that has to happen is for you and your spouse to settle these four main issues which are present in any divorce;
- The division of all property, including bank and investment accounts.
- The same division of all debts or liabilities you have took on jointly.
- Custody of children, including a parenting plan and how they will be raised as co-parents living apart.
- Any child support of alimony.
If you can work these out, you can have a divorce which is as amicable as possible.
Making it happen
All that it takes is a commitment to the mediation process to develop a plan that both parties can agree to. It is also wise to be ready to go to court should the process fall apart as well. For both of these reasons, sitting down and being very clear what is important to you and what is not will help you know where you can give ground and where you have to stand.
The one critical component is an attorney that is willing to take time with you to sit down and help you to understand exactly what you need. That takes experience in mediation and the divorce process, but it can be worth quite a bit in emotional and financial stress.
It is entirely possible to make your divorce much better than what everyone warns you about. If you have the commitment and focus, and your partner shares these values, a divorce without too much pain is indeed an option.