Divorces can be extremely difficult for everyone involved. Unfortunately, families can be further torn apart in divorces that end up in court. As a result, many families are choosing to settle their divorces outside of court through an alternative dispute resolution process known as “mediation.”
In a mediated divorce, a third-party mediator will help a divorcing couple make decisions on various issues. It is important for a mediator to help the couple reach decisions that they both agree upon.
While one of the main benefits of mediating a divorce is that it avoids litigation, there are numerous other benefits of mediation. Some of these might include:
- Saving time and money: Court proceedings can take a long time. By the time parties file motions, find experts, set a court date and actually go to court, it can take months. Litigation can also cost a couple a lot of money. According to the American Bar Association, mediating divorces costs an average of 50 percent less than going to court.
- Protecting children: Divorces can put a lot of stress on parents, especially if litigation is involved. Children can feel the effects of their parent’s stress. Additionally, mediation and litigation tend to have different outcomes in child custody cases. Because mediation requires a couple to come to mutually agreed upon decisions, it can lead to more joint custody awards.
- Controlling the outcome: In litigation, a judge makes the final determination on issues. Mediators, on the other hand, only serve to help the divorcing couple make decisions. While it might require a lot of compromising, it allows couples to have a say in all the decisions. Therefore, no outcome should come as a complete shock.
Divorces can be extremely complex, and no divorce is exactly like another. It can be beneficial to speak to a legal professional to determine if mediation is a good option for you. Attorneys can also represent you in a mediated divorce to help you reach the solutions you are looking for.