Divorce is rarely easy for either spouse. Ending a years-long relationship that may involve children presents a highly emotional challenge for the whole family. When emotions drive the divorce process, spouses often must manage hostility, tension and resentment throughout the ordeal.
Thankfully, families have other options. Over the past 20 years, more couples have turned to mediation to draft their divorce agreements. Mediation offers families many benefits that help them preserve relationships and manage emotions.
Mediation rewards enthusiastic participation
Families can find more success with mediation if they approach it with enthusiasm. Judges will often approve a couple’s request for mediation simply because they ask. Couples who use mediation can anticipate the following benefits:
- Confidential negotiations: Families will appreciate the confidentiality of mediated negotiations. In civil court, a stenographer will record everything spoken aloud and enter it into the public record. Nearly anyone can request access to these transcripts, and they may resurface in future disputes. Mediation does not require recording.
- Choice of mediator: In a courtroom, neither party gets to choose their judge. With mediation, the couple may select their mediator. Many professionals receive training in communication and collaboration techniques. A mediator guides the negotiations toward mutually beneficial resolutions that focus on compromise and empathy.
- Private and convenient scheduling: Couples can hold their mediation sessions in any neutral and private location. Sometimes couples may have to wait for months before a civil court can schedule their court date; with mediation, spouses can begin negotiating their divorce immediately.
- Lower cost and fewer fees: Without court fees and court personnel, mediation costs about half of a standard divorce. Additionally, many divorce attorneys charge reduced rates for mediation. Some courts may even cover the mediator’s fee.
- Improved results: Studies indicate that more people are satisfied with their divorce outcome using mediation over traditional litigation. Even those who did not reach an agreement reported greater satisfaction with the process.
Get started today
Couples who wish to pursue mediation can contact a local attorney familiar with divorce law. A lawyer can work out the details of the process, recommend a mediator and help arrange things with the courts.