Many people who face divorce automatically envision contentious litigation in a courtroom atmosphere.
However, mediation is an alternative that offers many advantages. To begin with, it is less expensive and time-consuming than going to court.
What to expect
Divorce mediation is a process that occurs outside court in a more relaxed atmosphere conducive to respectful and effective interaction between participants. You and your spouse would meet with a mediator, a neutral third party trained in alternative dispute resolution. The goal is to craft a divorce settlement agreement satisfactory to you both. The mediator will provide access to legal information, keep your sessions on track and help resolve conflicts that inevitably arise. You can expect to discuss major sticking points such as child custody, your post-divorce parenting plan and property division concerns. No divorce is too complicated for mediation. It has earned steady gains in popularity with couples of every economic level.
How mediation can help
In addition to savings in both time and cost, mediation lowers the stress level attached to ending your marriage. Like many couples, you will also appreciate the privacy this process offers, whereas litigation opens your life to public scrutiny. The mediator will help to deflect any animosity that surfaces. Remember that mediation provides an opportunity for you and your soon-to-be-ex to control the outcome of your divorce; a judge will have no part in deciding the future for you and your family. Other benefits include establishing communication channels that will help you as co-parents as you continue to raise your children. The children will also benefit because studies show that mediation is not as stressful for them as litigation.
Where problems arise
The mediation process is not for everyone. There is a history of violence in some marriages, a history of addiction in others. Couples in situations like these are not good candidates for mediation. However, if yours is an amicable parting, or if, despite your differences, you both think you can work together toward a suitable agreement, mediation may be the perfect process for your divorce.