Popular media likes to portray divorce as a contentious struggle between two parties who have grown to the point of every discussion spiraling into a heated, emotional dispute. Fortunately, many couples decide to part amicably and search for alternative methods for separation and divorce such as arbitration, collaboration and mediation.
Mediation might not be the best solution for everyone facing divorce, but there are several benefits to the process, including:
- Proceeding through mediation can be faster than going to court
- Proceeding through mediation can be less expensive than going to court
- The mediation is facilitated by a neutral, third-party professional
- Through mediation, both partners have a stake in the success of the outcome
- With a neutral, third-party mediator in charge, the process runs fairly and safely
- Mediation is accomplished in a low-conflict environment
In general, the mediation process is confidential giving both partners the privacy they desire from start to finish. Additionally, because the two parties worked together to reach an agreement on all the issues being negotiated, they have a stake in the success of the outcome. In other words, since the compromise was developed and agreed-upon by the parties rather than handed down by a judge, each partner will work harder to follow the terms they themselves wrote.
There are numerous decisions regarding mediation that you have control over, including:
- Who to hire as the mediator
- When to meet with the mediator
- Whether you are accompanied by lawyers
- Whether your mediation is closed or open
It is important that a couple facing divorce or separation understand the options available to them. An experienced family law lawyer can provide answers and legal guidance no matter the complexity of the divorce.