Unfortunately, the traditional litigation process often encourages parties to take a “win-lose” approach to divorce. The parties argue over their positions, expending time, money and emotional stress to get what they want. Mediation takes a completely different approach, encouraging cooperation and compromise in resolving disputes. Every divorce is different, but before pursuing litigation, everyone should consider these benefits of mediation:
- Control over the terms of the divorce. Instead of a judge imposing a decision on the parties, the parties work together during mediation to come to a mutually acceptable resolution to their dispute. There is a mediator present, however, he/she does not decide the matter. The mediator acts as a facilitator, helping the parties talk through their issues and offering guidance.
- Informal process. Mediation is an informal process that occurs outside of the courtroom. The parties decide when and where it will occur, what issues are discussed, how long it will take and when it ends. Since court rules do not apply, the mediator and the parties are able to explore creative solutions.
- Encourages open communication. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties by providing them with a safe setting to discuss their needs and interests. Couples can mediate even if they are unable to talk to each other, are uncomfortable sitting in the same room or are unable to recognize the other’s spouse’s perspective. The parties can even sit in separate rooms with the mediator speaking independently to each one.
- Quicker, less costly process. Litigation typically involves many smaller battles before trial, including motions made regarding evidence and requests for more information, etc. These tend to prolong the process and are also subject to court calendar delays. Because mediation is less formal and more cooperative, issues are addressed much more quickly and efficiently, which further serves to minimize legal expense.
- Confidentiality. Mediation is confidential so if the parties cannot resolve their disputes and the matter goes to court, neither party nor their counsel can reveal the discussions that took place in mediation.
Mediation may not be appropriate for every divorce. However, where couples are willing to discuss their issues and listen to the other side, it can offer a less hostile, more efficient solution to the divorce process.
If you are considering mediation for your divorce, contact us to discuss your situation.
Learn more about our Mediation services.