If you are preparing to go through a divorce, you may have visions of a long, drawn-out court battle wrought with emotion, conflict and considerable expense. Divorcing couples who do not have particularly acrimonious relationships with one another may have an alternative solution at their fingertips in the form of mediation.
Defining divorce mediation
Unlike a traditional courtroom divorce, mediation involves having you and your spouse work together with a third party to come up with a divorce agreement that satisfies everyone involved. When you undergo this type of alternative dispute resolution, you can avoid the public nature of the courtroom, and you may, too, find it easier to keep some of the details of your arrangement under wraps. Your soon-to-be-ex spouse does not have to be your close friend in order for mediation to work, but you do have to be able to work together and express your needs and wants in a reasonable, rational manner. If you are able to move forward with mediation as opposed to a traditional courtroom divorce, you may experience the following benefits:
You may save money
Arguably one of the most significant benefits of moving forward with this type of resolution is that mediation is typically less expensive than litigation. According to AmericanBar.org, mediation can reduce the costs associated with divorce by 40 to 60 percent. This is mainly due to the fact that, in mediation, both parties share one professional mediator, while litigation means each party needs his or her own representation, and at his or her own expense.
Mediation can be easier on children
Divorce is undeniably hard on children, but it can prove even more so when parents are at each other's throats in a public setting. The stress of courtroom litigation can rub off on children, while conversely, seeing parents get along and work together, despite divorcing, demonstrates to a child that his or her best interests are what is important. If you go through mediation, statistics show that you are also more likely to land on a joint-custody arrangement, because the very nature of the proceedings indicates you have the maturity and capability to handle sharing the co-parenting responsibility.
Mediation solves the same complex issues as litigation
If you fear you have a particularly complicated case, you may be concerned about whether mediation will prove effective at helping you and your spouse hammer out all the details. In truth, virtually anything that can be decided through traditional courtroom litigation can also be determined in mediation.
Mediation may not be the best option for all couples, but for those who may be able to work well with one another despite the emotions involved in separating, it can be a helpful, affordable way of getting the job done. To discuss the specifics of your own situation, consider getting in touch with an attorney.