The Basics of Maryland Separation Agreements
A Maryland divorce mediation attorney can help you speed up the divorce process and eliminate conflict. At James L. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, our goal is to wrap up our clients’ marriages as quickly and peacefully as possible. We encourage most of our clients to consider mediation. Learn more about the benefits of divorce mediation below.
During a divorce, Maryland couples must address a myriad of issues, including:
- Child custody and visitation,
- Child support,
- Alimony or spousal support payments,
- Property division, and
- Tax issues.
Unless you have a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, you and your Maryland divorce lawyer must negotiate with your spouse and figure out who you can distribute property and parenting time fairly.
Typically, a couple will first try to negotiate these issues out-of-court. If they can amicably agree to the terms of their divorce, the couple can draft a separation agreement and present it to the court for approval. However, if they cannot agree on property division, support payments, and child custody, the court will schedule a trial and make these decisions for them.
When the court awards child custody, child support, alimony, and divides your property, you might end up with a result that doesn’t work for you and family. A separation agreement reduces that risk. And, resolving your divorce out-of-court can reduce both the financial and emotional costs associated with divorce. For this reason, all divorcing couples should participate in mediation. Moreover, if the court orders mediation, you must participate.
What Is Divorce Mediation?
Divorce mediation is a dispute resolution process. During mediation, you and your spouse will sit down and negotiate with the help of a trained, neutral mediator. The mediator will ask questions, make suggestions, and work with you to identify areas of agreement and resolve your disputes. Depending on the complexity of your case, a mediation might involve multiple sessions.
Unlike litigation, mediation is a collaborative process. Typically, there isn’t a clear “winner” or “loser” in a mediation. Instead, the spouses and their lawyers are aiming for a peaceful and fair resolution. This is particularly beneficial when children are involved. Kids are exceptionally good at noticing tension and conflict — and it can deeply impact parent-child relationships.
While divorce mediation isn’t for everyone (especially spouses leaving abusive relationships), it can simplify and streamline a Maryland divorce. At James L. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we will work with you to protect your interests in a peaceful and productive manner.
Why Should I Hire a Maryland Divorce Mediation Attorney?
The mediator will listen to your concerns and help you negotiate. He or she can’t take sides. Moreover, the mediator cannot offer legal advice. At a mediation, your Maryland divorce mediation attorney will advocate on your behalf as well as try to protect your interests. Importantly, your divorce mediation attorney will review all proposed divorce settlement agreements, assessing their validity and terms. Without a skilled lawyer, you might make serious mistakes that put your possessions and parenting time at risk.
Discuss Your Case with a Maryland Divorce Mediation Attorney
If you’re considering divorce — or have already filed — you should consult with a Maryland divorce attorney. Depending on your circumstances, mediation might speed up your divorce, reduce conflict, and minimize the court’s involvement in your case. At James. L. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we represent our clients in divorce mediation as well as court proceedings. We combine compassionate advice with aggressive trial advocacy. Contact us for a free consultation today.