A divorce can be a complicated and emotional time, but there are things you can do to make the transition easier. Mediation is the key that makes a divorce less of a battle. You can use a mediator at any point during the divorce process to help settle matters, whether you’re at the beginning or right in the middle of it.
What is mediation?
Mediation in divorce is when both spouses sit down with a neutral third party to work out their differences. This mediator will help a couple decide on crucial issues like splitting their assets and liabilities, childcare, property distribution and any other problem they are having. The mediator will help them decide with as little conflict as possible.
Why should you aim to settle divorce and time-sharing matters during mediation?
There are several reasons why mediation is a good idea during a divorce. They are saving time, cost, and stress, as well as maintaining control over your privacy and your life.
Divorces that go to trial can drag on for years. Many times, the desire for revenge, anger, and bitterness are what drives these battles.
Using a mediator means the process is possibly over in months instead of years. Another thing to think about is, after all that time spent in court, 90% of divorce cases wind up settling. The trial proceedings waste precious time, especially when children are involved.
The costs of a litigated divorce can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars. This situation puts the financial security of both parties in jeopardy, as well as their children. There is no need to add financial peril to an already life-changing situation. Mediation reduces the cost of a divorce in many significant ways.
You don’t have to pay for two lawyers.
You have reduced court costs and fees.
Less time spent results in less money out of your pockets.
While mediation isn’t free, in the end, it is much less costly than a litigated divorce.
Mediation keeps your personal business between you and your spouse. Without it, a trial drags everyone’s affairs out into the open. Each person must go through the painstaking paperwork. The process will reveal all of the couples finances, indiscretions, habits, parenting skills, employment history, and more.
With mediation, all of these discussions can go on behind closed doors, or not at all. In no-fault divorces, couples have the opportunity to leave the problems of the past in the past. Mediation helps people move forward with a clean slate, without having everything about themselves revealed.
In a trial, the judge decides the result. If a divorcing couple chooses mediation, they have control over what happens. Since the couple is making the decisions for themselves, they are more likely to be happy with the agreement.
Also, a mediator is not on one side or the other. He or she is a neutral party who listens and helps guide the couple towards a solution. This circumstance is very different from two lawyers battling it out in a courtroom setting. The process focuses on compromise.
All of the above factors together combine to create less stress for both parties. Divorce is almost always stressful to a certain degree, but mediation makes the process much easier to handle.
Mediation stresses respectful communication, and participants use non-threatening language in a peaceful environment. This situation cuts down on stress and leads to better solutions for everyone.
Mediation means less stress on children.
If there are children from the marriage, mediation is even more beneficial. The court process for kids can make an already upsetting situation even worse. The court could interview and observe the couple’s children, and they may also be required to appear in court. This situation is incredibly stressful for kids.
Further, seeing the animosity between parents is very stressful for children. With mediation, divorcing couples make decisions calmly and rationally, and children do not need to be present.
What are the setbacks of going to trial?
Going to trial over a divorce is very uncommon these days. It is an emotionally grueling process not just for the spouses, but for their children as well. All of the five points above are excellent reasons to consider mediation for an easier divorce.
In a trial, it is a lawyer’s job to be their client’s advocate. This role means that all the dirty laundry is hung out and scrutinized and there is no privacy for either spouse. One spouse may hire an aggressive or hostile attorney, which can turn a trial a costly process that can drag on for years. Mediation saves everyone a lot of pain, anger, and expense.
If you have any questions about mediation, talk to our divorce legal experts. Our experienced attorneys will schedule a free consultation to go over all your options.