The Benefits of Mediation in Divorce
Mediation offers a number of benefits that are especially relevant in the family law context.
Own Your OutcomeFor most people, the prospect of divorce is overwhelming. The thought of dividing property, arranging custody issues, and adapting to life as a newly-single person can be scary and confusing. Many divorcing couples assume that their case will involve a lot of anger, resentment, and time in a courtroom. In reality, your divorce does not have to be this way. Through mediation, you and your spouse can work out compromises that allows both of you to walk away feeling satisfied with the divorce process and hopeful about the future.
Reduced CostDivorce litigation has a reputation for being hard on the wallet - and for good reason. By nature, litigation is an adversarial process that pits one side against the other. In many cases, attorneys must file motions and conduct discovery to protect their clients' interests and preserve certain rights in the event of a trial. This work might turn out to be unnecessary in the long run, as the vast majority of divorces settle before trial. Mediation allows the parties to reduce or even eliminate these costs by reducing the need for trial preparation and the discovery process, and focus on identifying important issues and working to resolve them.
Less TimeThe court only has so much time in one day. When you litigate a divorce, you are at the mercy of the court's schedule. This means it might takes weeks or even months to hold a hearing on a single issue. With mediation, you are in control of the timetable. Additionally, resolving your divorce sooner rather than later results in less stress for the parties and any children involved.
Better ResultsMediation requires cooperation and compromise, but it also gives both sides an opportunity to vocalize their concerns, express emotions, and address their problems in a less hostile environment. In litigation, communication is limited to motion practice and formal courtroom procedures. This rigid system tends to stifle any kind of meaningful conversation between the parties. More importantly, when spouses fail to resolve their disputes before trial, any remaining issues are left to the court - and the judge may not rule in a way that satisfies either side. Mediation puts you in control, which is important when you already feel like your life is anything but.