If you are your spouse are both willing to voluntarily attend and actively participate in determining your divorcesettlement in an amicable and respectful manner, then mediation is right for you. Mediation gives spouses the opportunity to have an earnest and transparent discussion about the issues surrounding their divorce in order to figure out a divorce agreement which works for them.
The following are several benefits of mediation compared to court litigation:
- Less costly - You and your spouse will generally pay one professional who is committed to helping you both reach a resolution. You will pay for meetings as opposed to waiting time at court. You will not have to pay for expensive court procedures, such as filing motions and court appearances. Additionally, you will not have to pay for your own attorneys. Lengthy divorce battles in court often result in financial ruin of one or both parties.
- Faster - You do not need to wait for court dates. A couple has the power to determine when they will schedule their sessions and how frequently they will occur. Spouses wouldn't have to wait for separate meeting and sessions with their individual attorneys, who would then have to speak to each other on billable time.
- Confidential - Communications, documents, and work notes made or used in mediation are all confidential. Meetings are private and privileged. By contrast, litigation is handled in a public courtroom in front of a judge, officers, and other court staff as well as other litigants and lawyers.
- Couples make all the decisions - The mediators helps each spouse address the issues and then facilitates a discussion between the two. The parties make the decisions together on all significant divorce issues. In court litigation, all of the decisions are made by the judge, which means there is a chance the case can end up having one winner and one loser.
- Less adversarial process - Mediation emphasizes cooperative problem solving and addressing the needs of all involved. Rather than validating one spouse's position and seeking to "win," the mediator can help raise points that a lawyer would not be free to raise for strategic reasons and he or she may help the parties view issues from a neutral standpoint which focuses on resolving the issues.
- More creative process - Those participating in mediation do not have to work within the confines of the litigation system. Contested issues can be addressed more in-depth in your meditation session and in your final agreement, which can result in both parties being financially stable and more effective co-parenting post-divorce.
- Protects children from conflict - During the divorce process through the litigation system, your children can be subject to appear in court, as well as be interviewed and observed by several experts. Additionally, the animosity between parents can expose children to increased conflict, which can lead to stress, confusion, and emotional damage that can last a lifetime. A mediator can help educate spouses in a neutral manner and keep the focus on the children's needs. A less contentious and adversarial divorce process can be beneficial to the children.