Although most people often view divorce as a highly contentious and disputed process, many are able to end their marriage in an amicable and respectful manner. If you believe that you and your spouse could discuss divorce issues and come to a mutual agreement, divorce mediation may be the solution.
Mediation involves complete cooperation, requiring you and your spouse to work with a neutral third party to help determine your own agreement on every single divorce term (i.e. alimony, child custody, child support, property division, etc.). The mediator often possesses an extensive knowledge of divorce and family law (i.e. attorney, therapist, or counselor) and is responsible for facilitating meetings, promoting communication, and seeking creative solutions to help both parties reach a divorce agreement.
The following are the common benefits of divorce mediation:
- Saves money – The cost of a divorce which ends through mediation is significantly cheaper than court litigation. Rather than paying court fees and each of their attorneys, the parties only pay the mediator to help them.
- Saves time – Divorces which go to trial often take many months and even years to resolve. By contrast, divorce mediation only takes a few months from start to finish. Instead of waiting for the next available court date on a jam-packed schedule or meetings with their individual lawyers, couples can schedule their sessions according to their terms and how frequently they will meet.
- Less stressful – You and your spouse will be working together in order to reach a mutual agreement, as opposed to working against one another. Not only can the mediation process eliminate the residual anger and resentment associated with court litigation, but also preserve the parties’ ability to work together in the future, especially when children are involved.
- More control – Instead of having the court decide the terms of the divorce, you and your spouse have the power to make their own decisions. So rather than a “win-lose” result from court litigation, mediation offers a “win-win” situation, encouraging parties to come up with their own creative solutions.
- More private – Mediation is confidential, so anything said during the sessions is not available to the public. Additionally, discussions cannot be used as evidence against either spouse if the case proceeds to trial. On the other hand, anything you say during court litigation is released to the public.
However, divorce litigation is not right for everyone. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets or domestic violence is involved in the relationship, it is best to finalize your divorce through the court system.