Often when Massachusetts couples consider using mediation for the resolution of their divorces, they think about the process as a voluntary undertaking. What readers of this family law and mediation blog may not know is that courts can order couples to use mediation when they are working to end their marriages. Sometimes called court-ordered conciliation, this form of mediation may be ordered for a number of reasons.

One reason that a judge may order divorcing parties to mediate some of their unresolved issues is to require them to speak to each other on important issues that may affect them after their divorces. When couples share children, for example, it is important that they are on the same page when it comes to custody, support, and other important topics. Court-ordered mediation can help parents prepare to co-parent even while they are working to break their marital relationships.

Another reason that courts will order mediation for divorcing couples is to save time. When individuals are able to work out their own disputes with the help of neutral third party mediators, they are not fighting in court and using judicial resources. Mediation is not always successful, though, and readers should remember that litigation in court is always an end option for those who cannot find common ground through the dispute resolution process.

Mediation, whether pursued by choice or through court-ordered conciliation, can help individuals take control of their own divorces and related family law matters. It can save them money and time, and help them find more acceptable solutions to their disputes with their exes. It is important that readers learn more about mediation before they begin the process, and such information may be sought from an attorney who works in the mediation field.