Divorce Mediation: An Alternative To Litigation

Divorce is a common situation in Texas and throughout the rest of the country. According to the American Psychological Association, approximately 40 to 50 percent of all marriages in the country eventually end in divorce. Because every couple's situation is unique, some may benefit from mediating their divorce rather than going through the litigation process.

What Is Mediation?

According to Forbes, mediation is a process in which a divorcing couple works with a mediator who helps them come to an agreement regarding issues such as child custody and asset division. The mediator overseeing the process is neutral and cannot advise either of the spouses. Because of this, each spouse must consult with their own individual attorneys before the final divorce agreement is signed.

Pros And Cons Associated With The Process

Before deciding on mediation, divorcing couples should consider both the advantages and disadvantages of the process. Some of the benefits of mediation include:

  • The ability for ex-spouses to maintain a beneficial long-term relationship. Mediation eliminates the difficulties of fighting in court and can preserve feelings of mutual respect between former spouses.
  • An easier process for children. Mediation can result in a more peaceful resolution which can benefit children who are struggling with their parents splitting up.
  • Couples may have greater control over divorce-related decisions.
  • Privacy. As opposed to litigation where the details of a couple's divorce are made public to the court, mediation allows for a greater degree of discretion.

Although mediation is a beneficial solution for many divorcing couples, it may not be appropriate for all. For example, if a couple chooses mediation, all financial information is voluntarily provided by each spouse. This may make it easier for one spouse to hide assets.

Additionally, although mediation can speed up the divorce process, it can also draw it out since couples do not have to abide by a court schedule. If the negotiation process does not end up working for a couple, they will have to start the divorce process over in court. Mediation can also end in an unfair settlement for one spouse if one party is particularly dominating while the other is more submissive.

Couples considering mediation as opposed to litigation to settle their divorce should approach this decision with careful consideration. If you and your spouse are considering divorce but aren't sure whether or not mediation is the right choice for your situation, contact an attorney who can help you weigh the pros and cons of this crucial decision.