Choosing to get a divorce is not an easy decision for anyone. Any spouse might hesitate to end a years-long relationship that involves children and a wealth of shared property. Many people imagine long and painful courtroom dramas, where judges only hand down unfavorable resolutions, fostering resentment for years to come. Thankfully, this is rarely the case.
These days, more couples are choosing mediation to negotiate their divorce settlements. Mediation offers several benefits over traditional litigation and produces more satisfying resolutions.
Mediation benefits the family
With mediation, the couple has a lot of control over how the divorce plays out, which can make negotiations with an angry spouse much easier. Whether a judge rules for mediation or a couple requests it, mediation provides the following benefits:
- Choice of mediator: Couples get their selection of mediator. Many professional mediators exist, so it is best to choose a neutral party that each spouse trusts. The mediator’s role is to guide discussions toward a mutual resolution. A mediator uses communication and collaboration tools to help each spouse understand the needs of the other and reach a resolution based on compromise and empathy.
- Confidentiality: Courtroom litigation is a matter of public record. A court stenographer records everything said by spouses, lawyers, the judge, etc. These words, often spoken in the heat of the moment, may come back to haunt the couple in a future dispute. With mediation, the only record of the negotiations is the signed resolution.
- Convenience: Non-violent civil cases, like divorce, may take months to schedule in a courtroom as the judge prioritizes cases involving violence or abuse. Mediated negotiations do not need to happen inside a courthouse or at the court’s schedule, allowing couples to schedule sessions at their convenience.
- More affordable: Without a courtroom, a couple will not incur courtroom fees. Most lawyers will charge reduced rates for mediation, and some courts may even cover the cost of a mediator.
- Better results: Mediation produces an agreement agreed upon by both spouses. Since neither party is at fault and there is no “winner,” divorced couples report greater satisfaction with mediated resolutions.
Seek legal counsel for more information
Spouses who use mediation for their divorce may want a lawyer to represent their interests and assist in drafting comprehensive resolutions. Couples can reach out to a local attorney familiar with divorce law with questions about mediation.