A lot of people think that divorce is always a contentious process. But that isn’t always the case. Sure, there are a significant number of marriage dissolutions out there that lead to days of litigation over everything from property division to child custody, but your case doesn’t have to play out like that. In fact, resolving your divorce legal issues through mediation may be the best path forward for you, your spouse, and your children.
When mediation works
Mediation is a process in which you sit down with your spouse, your lawyers and a neutral third party to try to negotiate a mutually agreeable resolution to your issues. It isn’t for everyone. For example, if you’ve been in an abusive or controlling relationship, then it’s probably not a good idea to be in the same room as your abuser.
However, if you have an essentially amicable relationship with your spouse and you think that you and your spouse can work together to figure out how to end your marriage, then mediation might be right for you.
The benefits of mediation
There are a number of advantages to pursuing mediation before taking your case to court. Here are just a few of them:
- You and your spouse retain control over the process: You’re going to be dealing with intimate details of your life when you go through a divorce. If your case ends up being litigated in front of a judge, then that judge is going to have full control over what your and your spouse’s life looks like post-divorce. That’s a scary prospect for many people. By pursuing mediation, though, you and your spouse remain in control of the outcome and can shape a resolution that is fair and just for both of you and your children.
- Faster resolution: If you take your case to trial, then you could end up seeing significant delays as the parties posture for position and engage in discovery, and as the court tries to fit your case on its packed calendar. By mediating, though, you can streamline the process so that you can more quickly obtain a resolution and move on to the next chapter of your life.
- More support in navigating tough issues: The mediation process focuses on how the parties can work together to find common ground. That can be difficult to do when you’re dealing with complex financial and familial issues. But a mediator, unlike a judge, can help each spouse see the issue from the other side’s perspective and provide guidance on how resolution can be obtained. This better ensures that a well-thought-out resolution is secured.
- Cost savings: Since litigation can be prolonged, it oftentimes can get quite expensive. Although litigation is necessary in some circumstances, in others money can be saved by utilizing mediation, which is a quicker path to resolution.
These are just some of the benefits of mediation. You might also find that mediation is less stressful, more protective of your privacy, and strengthens your post-divorce relationship with your soon-to-be former spouse.
So, if you and your spouse get along, can communicate effectively, and have an open and honest understanding about your financial standing, then mediation may be a viable and successful option for you.