Divorce is a difficult time for everyone involved. Whether the parties are amicable or if there is hostility involved, it is hard to make the decision to divorce and the process of divorce is harder, especially if you have children and assets to divide.
What is mediation?
Mediation in divorce law is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows the parties to reach an agreement outside of the court system and then have it formalized by the court. There are many benefits to choosing this route over litigation, including:
- It is non-adversarial. The purpose of mediation is for the parties to retain control of the outcome with the assistance of a mediator who facilitates the conversation between the individuals.
- It is private. Anything that is discussed within mediation remains there. With the exception of a final agreement formally filed with the court, nothing else becomes part of a public record.
- It is cost-effective. Mediation can save you thousands of dollars in attorney fees.
- It is efficient and often a much faster process than going through the court system. You won’t have to wait months for attorneys to coordinate their schedules with the judge.
- The divorcing couple can choose the mediator and a time and date that works for you.
- Mediation is often more fair. The role of the mediator is not to make choices for you but to facilitate a conversation for the two parties to make decisions on how to move forward. No one wins or loses, and as long as the parties come into mediation in good faith, it is very effective.
In thinking about how you want to handle your divorce, it is important to consider costs, time, whether you want your divorce process to be private and whether you and your soon-to-be former spouse have the ability, with the assistance of a mediator, to rise above the smaller things and collaborate. Collaboration is key in a successful mediation.
Mediation is highly effective and provides many benefits that the court cannot offer. It is worthwhile for both parties to consider this approach keeping in mind the factors mentioned above.