Divorce is confusing, stressful and can be very difficult to deal with. One of the toughest parts of divorce is deciding with your ex how you will divorce. Some people will attempt to do it on their own; others will enlist help in the form of litigation and/or mediation.
Going the route of litigation means a judge will have final say over how your split is handled. Once a judge gives their orders, you and your ex will be legally obligated to follow them. If one of you violates the order, it could mean serious legal consequences.
Mediation offers divorcing couples a comfortable environment where they are encouraged to work together and come up with a divorce plan that suits them both. During these sessions, the couple will meet with a mediator who will act as a non-biased third-party; they will help keep the conversation moving while making sure both parties are equally heard. If a problem arises, the mediator will encourage communication, help problem-solve and teach skills for resolving future conflict.
There are many other benefits to using mediation during a divorce and they are as follows:
You keep the power. Mediation gives you control over how your divorce plays out. There’s no judge calling the shots. You and your soon-to-be-ex get to decide what works and what compromises might need to be made. A mediator will be there to facilitate and help you work through any issues that arise along the way.
It’s much less costly. With mediation, you and your spouse only have to pay for one professional who will work with both of you to reach a resolution, as oppose to paying two separate attorneys and all associated court fees. Mediation appointments can be made to fit both spouse’s schedules, whereas court dates are set by the judge, which could mean missing out on a day of work.
There’s greater confidentiality. Anything disclosed during mediation is privileged and will remain private. In comparison, court files are a matter of public record and can be accessed by anyone who does a simple Google search.
It saves time. A typical mediation session lasts around 2-3 hours and on average, couples will need anywhere from 3-12 sessions to reach an agreement. This would be a few short months instead of the year or so that going through litigation could take.
It’s much less stressful on children. Mediation is known to be extremely beneficial for divorce cases involving children. Divorce can be scary for children, going through litigation means having several professionals interview and evaluate your children, your kids might also have to appear in court which can be jarring and leave a lasting impression.
There’s a higher chance for post-divorce stability. Mediation has given you the tools to communicate successfully with your ex throughout the divorce process. It is more likely this type of behavior will carry over once the divorce is complete, allowing the two of you to have a respectful relationship which is extra beneficial if there are kids involved.