A typical divorce situation involves a negotiation process that is both stressful and traumatic for all parties involved, including the children. However, if you and your spouse are able to communicate in an amicable or respectful manner throughout the process, mediation is an alternative to court litigation.
During the mediation process, the parties meet with a professional mediator to work out a mutual divorce settlement regarding several issues such as finances, property, alimony, child custody, and other concerns. Once both parties sign the agreement, it is legally binding.
The following are several benefits of using mediation compared to litigation for your divorce:
- Mediation saves money – The cost of mediation is significantly less than the amount often spent on court litigation, where the final amount is determined by various factors brought about during the trial process. Additionally, you do not need two divorce lawyers, but just one mediator instead.
- The process takes less time – Getting a court date to resolve your issues could take up to a year. But factors, however, such as getting two divorce lawyers to also agree to meet on the date and time provided by the court and the busy schedules of you and your spouse, could delay the divorce even longer. By contrast, mediation can take as little as two to three months. You and your spouse can attempt to reach an agreement without coordinating schedules with judges and divorce lawyers.
- Parties have complete control – In court, the facts are argued by the lawyers and decisions are made by the judge. During mediation, you and your spouse have control over your destiny, rather than placing it in the hands of a higher power. Parties are generally more satisfied with solutions that have been mutually agreed upon, as opposed to those that are imposed by a third-party decision-maker.
- Mediation is a private and confidential process – The process is completely private, so no one knows what is being discussed except you, your spouse, and the mediator in the confines of the mediator’s office or via private communications. On the other hand, court litigation makes the proceedings, and every detail, available to the public.
- It has a positive effect on children – Since mediation is generally less stressful than litigation, your home is a much more peaceful place. Children benefit from witnessing their parents cooperating, even when they disagree with each other. This type of cooperation by the parents can result in joint custody being awarded in mediation, which benefits the kids with a continued future with both parents.