Somewhere around 35% of litigated divorces end up going to back to court after the divorce has been finalized. There are any number of reasons this happens, but some of the most common are: one parent will not allow the other parent his or her parent-time as order in a divorce decree; one parent will not pay child support.
When this happens, the parties will likely have to mediate before taking their claims before a judge. This is because (1) most divorce decrees contain a clause requiring parties to mediate before beginning court proceedings, and (2) because Utah courts will often require mediation. And there is good reason for mediation of post-divorce disputes, for example:
- Divorced couples are happier with mediated resolutions than court orders
- Divorce couples follow mediated resolutions more than court orders
- Mediation allows the parties to directly control the outcome of their settlement
- Mediation is confidential, so parties don’t need to “air dirty laundry” in before the court in public
- Litigating a post-divorce dispute can require many months, while mediation can be scheduled within weeks
- Mediation brings the parties together to negotiate and work together to reach a mutually beneficial dispute agreement, whereas court requires the parties to fight one another in open court
Because post-divorce disputes involve high emotions and family law issues, it is wise to hire a mediator with divorce and family law experience. Likewise, if you need an attorney to help guide you through the post-divorce mediation process, find one with family law experience.