In our last post, we discussed the unprecedented $1 billion award in the divorce case of oil magnate Harold Hamm and his wife of 26 years, Sue Ann.
It is quite rare for a divorce case of this magnitude play out in the public court forum. Most often, a prenuptial agreement handles the details of the split or the couple decides to settle the case outside of court in order to retain privacy.
One of the ways couples can handle their divorce cases privately and outside of court is through the mediation process. As we explained in an article on our website, there are many benefits to the mediation process for couples in Alabama and elsewhere, a few of which we will discuss today.
First, the mediation process allows the parties to remain in control of the process and the settlement. Instead of turning the decision-making power over to a judge, the parties work with a third-party neutral mediator who facilitates negotiations on issues such as property division, child custody and spousal support.
Second, the mediation process can take place more quickly than the traditional litigation process, and can cause fewer negative emotions for everyone involved. Litigation can take years to resolve and often involves highly-contested battles over very sensitive issues while mediation often allows the parties to reach a faster resolution in a more amicable fashion.
Finally, mediation allows the details of the settlement to remain confidential. Many high-profile individuals choose mediation for this reason. Because court proceedings are generally public matters, most filings in traditional divorce proceedings become matters of public record.
As you can see, there are many benefits to the mediation process for Alabama residents. However, the process may not be appropriate in all cases, which is why it’s important to first speak with an experienced family law attorney about the unique facts of your case.