Getting a divorce in South Dakota may require mediation. Divorce mediation provides you and your spouse with the chance to decide certain divorce matters and determine what is best for both of you and your children.
During the South Dakota divorce mediation process, you and your spouse will meet with the mediator (a third party who is usually a retired judge or South Dakota family lawyer who isn't involved with your case). The purpose of mediation is to work through the issues necessary for resolving your divorce so you can amicably and cost-effectively end your marriage.
WHAT ISSUES CAN MEDIATION RESOLVE?
In general, divorce mediation in South Dakota covers the following issues:
- Distribution of Property (Assets/Liabilities): This includes your homes, cars, loans, credit cards debts, etc.
- Child Custody and Parenting Time: This determines where your children will live and how you will parent your children after the divorce.
- Child Support/Maintenance: Child support and alimony can also be agreed to during mediation.
- Retirement: Division of pensions and 401K plans can be negotiated.
- Taxes: Who will pay the current years taxes and any tax burdens you have can be added to a separation agreement.
While some agreements are easy, others may take a lot of time and work. The mediator can help you and your spouse work out your agreements on certain issues without having to go to trial. The divorce mediator keeps the communication lines open between the divorcing parties, brainstorm ideas, teach empathy, conducts reality tests, and assists the couple in making decisions.
WHAT IF MEDIATION FAILS?
Divorce battles in court are emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting and can drain your financial resources. Mediation is a way of resolving issues between you and your spouse peacefully and without a trial.
For more about mediation in South Dakota, download The South Dakota Child Custody and Divorce Handbook.