Divorce mediation is a process for resolving conflict and reaching an agreement where both spouses involved have control of making every decision. A neutral mediator assists the parties in arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement. If you and your spouse are able to work out your differences in an amicable, respectful manner, it may be in your best interest to try mediation before asking the court to help you.
The following are several benefits to mediate your divorce:
- You control the outcome – You and your spouse decide the topics that you wish to discuss and settle. You, not the court, has final say over the terms of your divorce agreement. Important decisions about you and your children are not left in the hands of a judge.
- Less costly – Mediation is generally less expensive in comparison to the expense of court litigation. If your divorce case goes to court, the cost may be three times as high—or more. The average cost of divorce mediation is generally 40 percent to 60 percent lower than court litigation. Lengthy divorce battles and trials have resulted in the financial ruin of many families.
- Less time consuming – Mediated divorce cases often take considerably less time than a litigated divorce. The longer the court process is drawn out, the more costly it becomes and the more hostile both parties get. With a mediator, you schedule mutually convenient times and are able to reach an agreement at a pace which works for both of you. It is possible to resolve your issues in a few sessions, instead of waiting months for the next court date or for a time when two lawyers and a judge to choose a date which works for them.
- More private – Meetings, communications, documents, and work notes made or used during mediation are confidential and privileged. At court, however, you will argue your case in a public courtroom in front of a judge, officers, and court staff as well as other litigants and lawyers. It can be horrifying having your issues discussed in a room full of people you don’t know, or in front of people in your community.
- More creative – A settlement can be obtained more quickly when the approach shifts from combative debate to creative solution-seeking. The topics discussed during mediation are not limited by the court.
- You preserve the relationship – Mediation is a collaborative process, not an adversarial one. The process itself emphasizes cooperative problem solving and addressing the needs of all involved. If you are able to work together to reach a mutual agreement, which can result in more cooperation post-divorce, especially if children are involved.
- Protects kids – Custody trial typically requires your children to appear at court. Additionally, they must be interviewed and observed by several experts. The hostility between parents can increase substantially while involved in a polarizing process, resulting in stress, confusion, as well as emotional damage that can last a lifetime. Mediation is generally less stressful than litigation, allowing for a more peaceful home during the conflict.