When people think of divorce or child custody cases, they may picture an emotional court battle. And while traditional court litigation remains an option for some South Dakota couples, it may not meet everyone's needs. Mediation is rising in popularity as a non-confrontational way to discuss and settle divorce and custody matters in South Dakota.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation sessions take place outside of court and under the supervision of a neutral mediator. The mediator can direct the negotiation process and ensure that all topics are covered in the settlement. A couple is able to create and customize a divorce settlement that meets their unique needs. This includes child custody, parenting schedules, alimony, child support, property division, and any other relevant issues.
What are the Advantages of Mediation?
The advantages of mediation include:
- It's Quicker. A divorce may be completed faster through mediation.
- It's Less Expensive. Mediation usually costs less than an adversarial hearing in court.
- It Allows For A Better Relationship. Couples who go through mediation are more likely to leave the marriage with a more positive relationship because it avoids the conflicts that accompany going to court.
- It's Less Stressful. Mediation is a non-binding and non-adversarial proceeding.