Divorce can be a hotly contested process that may result in costly and lengthy court litigation. However, if couples wish to avoid court hearings, discovery, the blame game, and an expensive trial, they may choose to settle their differences through divorce mediation.
Mediation is a voluntary process that enables divorcing spouses to resolve any divorce-related issues (e.g. child custody, child support, property division, alimony, etc.) in an amicable and respectful manner with a neutral, specially trained third party, known as the mediator. Through several sessions where the mediator engages you and your spouse in a series of discussions, couples can come to a mutual agreement rather than having a judge decide.
The following are the main benefits of divorce mediation:
- Quicker – While court litigation can take many months or even years, a divorce can be finalized through mediation in several weeks or a few months. Additionally, meetings can be held anywhere at any time, rather than waiting for your scheduled court appearance.
- Less expensive – Since a mediated divorce often takes considerably less time compared to court litigation, couples end up saving more money due to obtaining a faster resolution.
- More control – Instead of having a judge determine a winner and a loser, divorce mediation allows couples to find a solution that works out for both.
- Private – Divorce mediation is confidential, while whatever happens at trial is public record.
- Better for the children – Divorce can me emotionally overwhelming, especially for the children. The process can be more traumatic if they are caught in the middle of a heated dispute. Not only does mediation give parents an opportunity to respectfully work out their differences, but it could also benefit their co-parenting skills after divorce.
Keep in mind, divorce mediation may not be possible for cases involving domestic violence or hidden assets. Furthermore, a couple who cannot reach an agreement through mediation must go to court.